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Last edited 08 Jan 2021
BREEAM Energy efficient laboratory systems
Therefore the implementation of energy efficiency measures has the potential to have a significant impact on the energy demand and consumption of a development. The types of equipment assessed by this issue are not currently fully recognised in the National Calculation Methodology that is used to assess credits under Ene 01.
It is not relevant to school buildings; in this instance the laboratory criteria under issue Hea 03 should be followed. Where there are a large number of containment devices in a school or sixth form college assessment, the BRE should be consulted with for guidance.
Links to be added to the Hea 03 article when produced.
- Reduced energy consumption / energy bills;
- Safer working environment; and
- Aids discussions on appropriate laboratory systems to meet functional requirements.
 When to consider
There is a pre-requisite for this credit that requires criterion 1 of Issue Hea 03 to be achieved. If this is not met, then no credits can be awarded for this issue. This requires an objective risk assessment of the laboratory facilities to be carried out prior to completion of RIBA Stage 3 to ensure potential risks are considered. If this is not achieved then no credits can be awarded.
Client engagement should be sought through consultation that occurs during RIBA Stage 1. The aim of this engagement is to understand the occupant requirements and determine the laboratory performance criteria. If engagement with the BREEAM process occurs after this stage and the above did not form a part of the consultation process at RIBA Stage 1, no credits can be awarded.
The project team should confirm that the relevant stakeholders) have been consulted with during RIBA Stage 1 to determine the occupant requirements and laboratory performance criteria. Refer to the manual for a list of the performance criteria that should be considered as a minimum.
During the design stage (RIBA Stages 3&4), the design team should produce calculations to confirm that the energy demand of the facilities has been minimised as a result of achieving the defined design performance criteria and has led to optimum sizing of the equipment.
All ducted fume cupboards should be specified with an average air flow rate of no greater than 0.16m3/s per linear meter of fume cupboard workspace. Care should be taken when targeting this credit to ensure that the reduced air flow does not compromise the defined performance criteria. See tips and best practice section below.
Credits 2 - 5:
These credits can only be awarded where the first credit and pre-requisite have been met and where the laboratory area accounts for at least 10% of the total building floor area. When calculating the floor area, the following areas should not be included:
- Write up/offices
- Meeting rooms
- Ancillary and other support areas with a lower servicing requirement.
- 1 Credit: where the specific fan powers (W/(l/s)) are specified to meet the best practice levels for all relevant items of equipment listed in the credit criteria;
- 0.5 Credits: an average design air flow rate of <0.12m3/s per linear meter (internal width) of fume cupboard workspace. The same care should be taken when targeting this credit to ensure that the reduced air flow does not compromise the defined performance criteria. See tips and best practice section below.
- 0.5 Credits:
Only whole credits can be awarded.
 Questions to ask while seeking compliance
- Have the relevant stakeholders been consulted with during RIBA Stage 1 to underside their requirements and performance criteria and has this been documented within the project brief?
- Has the design team included for undertaking the required energy demand calculations as part of the design?
 Tips and best practice
Reduced air volume hoods incorporate a bypass block to partially close off the bypass, reducing the air volume and thus conserving energy. Usually, the block is combined with a sash stop to limit the height of the sash opening, ensuring a safe face velocity during normal operation while lowering the hood’s air volume. By reducing the air volume, the RAV hood can operate with a smaller blower, which is another cost-saving advantage.
Since RAV hoods have restricted sash movement and reduced air volume, these hoods are less flexible in what they can be used for and can only be used for certain tasks. Another drawback to RAV hoods is that users can in theory override or disengage the sash stop. If this occurs, the face velocity could drop to an unsafe level. To counter this condition, operators must be trained never to override the sash stop while in use, and only to do so when loading or cleaning the hood. The design team should highlight this to the client so that they understand the risks associated with specifying this type of system.
 Typical evidence
- Minutes of meetings to confirm consultation with relevant stakeholders
- Project brief that includes the laboratory performance criteria and occupant requirements
- Energy demand assessment
- Laboratory system specification and drawings
 Post Construction Stage:
 Applicable Schemes
The guidelines collated in this ISD aim to support sustainable best practice in the topic described. This issue may apply in multiple BREEAM schemes covering different stages in the life of a building, different building types and different year versions. Some content may be generic but scheme nuances should also be taken into account. Refer to the comments below and related articles to this one to understand these nuances. See this document for further guidelines.
--Tom Blois-Brooke 16:40, 01 Jul 2019 (BST)
--Tom Blois-Brooke 14:57, 21 Feb 2018 (BST)
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