The Zero Lab: Design for Carbon Neutrality

Monday, April 29, 11:20 - 12:10 PM

Room #: Regency Ballroom Q

With the 2030 federal mandate to achieve carbon neutral facility construction and operation rapidly approaching, many institutions should ask themselves if they are on track to be carbon neutral by 2030, 90% reduction by 2025, or even 80% reduction by 2020. Considering the average mid-size laboratory building takes three to five years to design and construct, if this isn’t a priority today, your institution may already be off target. 

This presentation will focus on the science facility planning considerations and lessons learned from over a decade of net-zero planning, design and operational expertise. The presentation will review a short history of regulatory framework to deal with carbon neutral facilities and how this impacts environmental, social and economic factors. Early planning decisions that impact energy strategies will be reviewed and will illustrate lab specific energy strategies from past and current projects, including: chilled beams, light harvesting, radiant heating, operable light louvers, enthalpy wheel, precooling, variable air volume systems, daylighting, and high performance glazing systems. 

Additional discussion will be focused on developing an action plan for new or existing facilities to be phased to operate at a carbon-neutral level over time. 

Key Takeaways:
•    Learn the historical regulatory framework to deal with carbon neutral facilities. 
•    Understand how a research facility’s carbon sequestration strategy can have environmental, social and economic impacts. 
•    Navigate which early planning decisions can have the largest impact on energy use.
•    Consider strategies and lessons learned for phasing a new or existing facility to become carbon neutral over time.

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