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Fume Hoods and Biosafety Cabinets

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Design Guidance

Overall Strategies

Overview

Best Practices

  • Encourage users to close the fume hood sash when not in use by providing visual cues (e.g. magnets on fume hoods) and use training.
  • If purchasing a new fume hood, consider a variable air volume (VAV) or low-flow hood and features such as automated sash controls that close after a period of inactivity.
  • Turn off unused fume hoods if it is safe and practical.
  • Install an energy recovery system (e.g. run around loop) to capture heat from the exhausted air being drawn from the laboratory space around the hood.
  • Ventless (also called ductless or filtered) fume hoods offer opportunities to reduce the laboratory's energy load and eliminate associated duct work and exhaust systems. This also makes the hood easier to move if necessary. However, they may not achieve the same level of capture and containment as a vented hood and require routine monitoring and replacement of filters.
  • Do not use UV lamps in biosafety cabinets. Their effectiveness for disinfection varies based on the conditions and is not recommended. Leave them off and save a little energy.
  • Purchase a BSC with a “once-through” air that is externally vented only if it is necessary for the biomaterials being handled. BSCs that can recirculate filtered air can lead to significant heating and cooling energy savings.
  • Turn off fume hoods and biosafety cabinet blowers when not in use if it is safe and practical. This saves energy and the filters in BSCs will last longer.

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EB = Existing BuildingsNC = New Construction and Major Renovation

Federal Requirements

Guiding Principles

  • Energy Efficiency ( Guiding Principles [NC])
    Section: II. Optimize Energy Performance

    From the Guiding Principles for NC: “Employ strategies that minimize energy usage. Focus on reducing energy loads before considering renewable or clean and alternative energy sources. Use energy efficient products as required by statute.”
    Determining Compliance: “For new construction, ensure energy efficiency is 30% better than the current ASHRAE 90.1 standard. For modernization, ensure: (1) energy use is 20% below the fiscal year (FY) 2015 energy use Baseline, (2) energy use is 30% below the FY 2003 energy use baseline, (3) the building has an ENERGY STAR® rating of 75 or higher, or (4) for building types not in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, where adequate benchmarking data exists, the building is in the top quartile of energy performance for its building type. For new construction and modernization, use energy efficient products, as required by statute.”

  • Energy Efficiency ( Guiding Principles [EB])
    Section: II. Optimize Energy Performance

    From the Guiding Principles for EB: “Employ strategies that minimize energy usage. Focus on reducing energy loads before considering renewable or clean and alternative energy sources. Use energy efficient products as required by statute.”
    Determining Compliance: “Ensure: (1) the building has an ENERGY STAR rating of 75 or higher, (2) energy use is 20% below the FY 2015 energy use baseline, (3) energy use is 30% below the FY 2003 energy use baseline, or (4) energy efficiency is 30% better than the current ASHRAE 90.1 standard. Use energy efficient products, as required by statute.”

  • Commissioning ( Guiding Principles [EB])
    Section: I. Employ Integrated Assessment, Operation, and Management/Design Principles

    From the Guiding Principles for EB: "Meet the commissioning requirements of Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 section 432 and Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) guidance. Employ recommissioning, tailored to the size and complexity of the building and its system components, in order to optimize and verify performance of building systems. Recommissioning should be led by an experienced commissioning agent who is independent of the facility operations team. Building recommissioning should include a commissioning plan, verification of the performance of systems being commissioned, and a commissioning report that confirms identified issues were appropriately addressed."
    Determining Compliance: "Commissioning reports for certification purposes must be completed within two years prior to certification date. Recommissioning should be completed at least every four years thereafter to optimize building performance. Use commissioning agents who are independent of the design and construction or operating team. Commissioning should be consistent with EISA section 4327 and FEMP commissioning guidance."

    DOE EERE - Commissioning for Federal Facilities
    DOE - Guidance for the Implementation and Follow-up of Identified Energy and Water Efficiency Measures in Covered Facilities.

  • Ventilation and Thermal Comfort ( Guiding Principles [EB, NC])
    Section: IV. Enhance Indoor Environmental Quality

    Guiding Principles for EB & NC: “Provide safe and healthy ventilation and thermal comfort.”
    Determining Compliance: “Meet the current ASHRAE 55 and either 62.1 or 62.2 standards for ventilation and thermal comfort.”

  • Commissioning ( Guiding Principles [NC])
    Section: Section: I. Employ Integrated Design Principles

    From the Guiding Principles for NC: "Employ commissioning tailored to the size and complexity of the building and its system components in order to optimize and verify performance of building systems. Commissioning should be led by an experienced commissioning provider who is independent of the project design and construction team and the operations team. At a minimum, commissioning should include a commissioning plan, verification of the installation and performance of systems being commissioned, and a commissioning report that confirms identified issues were appropriately addressed. Follow Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 section 432 and associated Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) commissioning guidance.”
    Determining Compliance: “Commission and recommission at least every 4 years to optimize building performance using commissioning agents who are independent of the design and construction or operating team. Commissioning should be consistent with EISA section 4321 and FEMP commissioning guidance.”

    DOE EERE - Commissioning for Federal Facilities
    DOE - Guidance for the Implementation and Follow-up of Identified Energy and Water Efficiency Measures in Covered Facilities

  • Indoor Air Quality ( <span id="docs-internal-guid-f1e45d2e-bf74-2656-0c1b-777092dd54a0"><span>Guiding Principles [EB, NC]</span></span>)
    Section: IV. Enhance Indoor Environmental Quality

    Guiding Principles for EB & NC: Take actions to ensure optimal indoor air quality, including:
    (i) “Test for radon in buildings and mitigate high levels.”
    (ii) “Establish policy and implement a moisture control strategy to prevent building materials damage, minimize mold growth, and reduce associated health risks.”
    (iii) “Use low emitting materials for building construction, modifications, maintenance, and operations. In particular, specify the following materials and products to have low pollutant emissions: composite wood products, adhesives, sealants, interior paints and finishes, solvents, carpet systems, janitorial supplies, and furnishings.”
    (iv) Establish a policy and implement necessary protocols to protect indoor air quality during construction, renovations, repairs, and alterations, and during occupancy.
    (v) “Prohibit smoking in any form within the building and within 25 feet of all building entrances, operable windows, and building ventilation intakes.”
    (vi) “Use integrated pest management techniques as appropriate to minimize pesticide usage.”
    Determining Compliance: “Develop and implement an indoor air quality policy that considers the following: moisture control, use of low emitting materials and products with low pollutant emissions, necessary protocols to protect indoor air quality during construction and in the finished building, prohibition of smoking in any form inside and within 25 feet of all building entrances, operable windows, and building ventilation intakes, and use of integrated pest management techniques.”