Alternative engineered controls that can improve air quality control

May 26, 2023 | Lab Furniture

Fume hoods and other engineered controls are significant parts in most laboratory facility planning. However these controls are energy-intensive and have a considerable impact on a building infrastructure and performance. Studies have stated that labs consume up to 5 to 10 times more energy per square foot compared to other conventional buildings.

Lab Manager provides some information on how to address these problems while achieving carbon neutrality. One answer is using ductless filtering fume hoods.

Cascade effects

Having ductless fume hoods as your primary engineered control system helps in achieving carbon reduction since it reduces mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) and the presence of photovoltaic (PV) arrays allows the recovery of energy. There are obvious savings in minimizing peak exhaust outputs while still allowing the building to achieve more.

Holistic approach to safety

Fume hoods and containment devices should be designed with safety being its utmost priority. For instance, chemical handling needs must be assessed in determining whether they are suitable for filtration. A filter life cycle is processed based on analyzing the edition’s standards.

Odoo image and text block

In normal operating conditions, ductless fume hoods should guarantee user protection alongside the assurance that the release will not exceed 1 percent of the TLV past the filter exhaust. To protect the breathing zones of staff working in the lab, proper control must already be in place. This includes the combination of:

  • filtering storage

  • whole room air filtration

  • integrated filtration packs for safety cabinets

  • filtering fume hoods

 Furthermore, other salient safety aspects must be monitored including:

  • face velocity

  • filtration efficiency

  • ambient air pollution

It’s important to note that safety does not stop with the fume hood but continues throughout the chemical life cycle. Continuous monitoring offers critical safety metrics which aids in establishing effective lab safety protocols. 

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