Labs and research facilities house sensitive equipment and must maintain very rigid standards. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in particular require careful planning and design. Most labs require the HVAC system to be fully exhausted, requiring high levels of outside air.
Other topics such as relative humidity, low-temperature design, energy savings, cross-contamination and pressurized systems will be touched on.
Many labs require specialized systems such as fume hoods, purge systems, containment solutions and other unique solutions. A review of a couple of these will be included in the discussion.
Building codes will be briefly addressed, particularly the mechanical and fire codes. All laboratory design engineers should be familiar with the following:
- ANSI/AIHA Z9.5: Laboratory Ventilation.
- NFPA 45: Standard on Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals.
- NFPA 30: Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code.
- NFPA 55: Compressed Gases and Cryogenic Fluids Code.
- NFPA 2: Hydrogen Technologies Code (for laboratories using hydrogen).
- NFPA 497: Recommended Practice for the Classification of Flammable Liquids, Gases or Vapors and of Hazardous (Classified) Locations for Electrical Installations in Chemical Process Areas.
- ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 110: Methods of Testing Performance of Laboratory Fume Hoods.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Institutes of Health Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories.
- Numerous publications by the Scientific Equipment and Furniture Association.
- ASHRAE Handbooks and Design Guidelines.
- ANSI/ISEA Z358.1: Standard for Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment.
- Learn about ASHRAE, NFPA and ANSI/AIHA guidelines that drive HVAC system design and specifications.
- Understand various HVAC design strategies and the various products and systems available.
- Consider the owner’s project requirements and what HVAC products or systems can help achieve them.
- Review lab and research facility example design strategies.