Magazine features Portland State University project as example of how "Lab Renovations Yield Big Energy Savings"

April 24, 2013 - A March article in The Chronicle of Higher Education journal cites the IDC Architects-designed remodel and expansion of Portland State University's Science Building 2 as an example of how universities are looking to remodel their lab facilities rather than building new ones to meet certain sustainability standards.

Portland State University's Science Building 2

In an article titled "Lab Renovations Yield Big Energy Savings," the inherent value of remodeling is conveyed in a quote from project architect Scott Barton-Smith/PDX, who observes "The most sustainable building is a building that's already there."

The article describes how in research universities, laboratories are often the largest source of energy costs and are where many institutions turn to reduce their carbon footprints. These facilities seek to improve the way labs "breathe"—how buildings are ventilated, heated, and cooled. By doing so they can cut energy costs in half.

Our Science Building 2 project for Portland State University is an example of this. The project replaced nearly 200 fume hoods with high-performance models to reduce the air flow in the building and reduced the number of exhaust fans from 125 individual fans to a system of 10 linked fans.

Our Science Building 2 project for Portland State University is an example of this. The project replaced nearly 200 fume hoods with high-performance models to reduce the air flow in the building and reduced the number of exhaust fans from 125 individual fans to a system of 10 linked fans.

The system now operates more effectively because the fans are networked—if one fan isn't performing, the others can back it up, according to Portland State University's Mark Fujii.

Here's a link (PDF, 2,511.4KB) to the article in The Chronicle of Higher Education journal.

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