TEL’s work for the University of Reading’s fume cupboard energy efficiency upgrade project, Delivering Science Laboratory Safety and Comfort Sustainably, has won a place in the finals of the carbon reduction category of the 2014 Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) Green Gown Awards.
Undertaken between December 2013 and January 2014, TEL’s upgrade of the ventilation and control systems in the university’s chemistry teaching laboratory fume cupboards is on track to save the institution 343 tCo2 annually, taking it towards its 2016 35% carbon reduction target. The upgrade is also set to save £90,000 in annual energy bills, paying for itself in under three years.
TEL fitted variable airflow volume (VAV) controllers to 44 existing fume cupboards; these automatically adjust airflow according to need, reducing the volume of air extracted from the fume cupboards when not in use, reducing energy consumption.
The company also improved energy efficiency by fitting fresh air bleed controls to the 24 extractor fans to which the fume cupboards are connected, and by installing room controls on the air handling units servicing the laboratories.
Simultaneously, the initiative generated significant improvements in the thermal comfort of laboratories, keeping them warmer than before.
University of Reading energy manager Dan Fernbank said: “TEL’s project demonstrated that sustainability can go hand-in-hand with safety and comfort, providing the case for a rollout of fume cupboard improvements; a working group has now been established for an estate-wide review.”
This is the second time that TEL’s work has achieved Green Gown recognition, with its 2011 VAV project for Manchester Metropolitan University achieving shortlist status.