Reducing Penn’s Energy Use, Operating Costs and Carbon Footprint by an Upgrade of Aging Chemistry Building
Robert G. Andrews, Jr.
PE, CEA, LEED AP BD+C, Partner / Managing Director
AHA Consulting Engineers, Inc., Cambridge, MA Office
Roger L. Fournier
Senior Associate / Project Manager
AHA Consulting Engineers, Inc., Lexington, MA Office
May 6, 2016
3601 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States
Abstract: Chem ‘73, the 1973 Wing of the Chemistry Laboratories in Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences, is one of the largest laboratory complexes on campus. A standard part of the labs’ infrastructure is fume hoods, the ventilation devices that limit the experimenters’ exposure to toxic fumes. The hoods in the building’s 65 chemistry labs were originally designed to operate non-stop at full capacity, regardless of the lab occupancy, thus wasting a considerable amount of energy that powers the ventilation system. In addition, in many labs the level of exhaust noise was very uncomfortable, and the temperature fluctuations were too large. All this called for an extensive renovation of Chem ’73 Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system, but the building had to remain operational throughout this project, making the problem significantly harder to tackle. This talk will present how the project introduced building and fume hood controls, energy recovery, and variable air volume operation, while replacing existing infrastructure and keeping the building operating with no lab shut down for more than four days, thereby improving comfort, operations and interior acoustics, and achieving annual energy cost savings of more than $1.8 million!