CBS Newsletter
Fall 1996
pg. 8

A-Team Report

Energy Efficiency in Laboratory-Type Facilities

Comparative Electricity Use in California Buildings

Laboratory-type facilities use a considerable amount of energy resources and thus are the focus of a new study by the Applications Team. Improving energy efficiency in laboratory-type facilities is no easy task, and there are many formidable barriers to doing so in these highly specialized environments.

Given their demanding control requirements and specialized processes, laboratory-type facilities epitomize the important intersection of energy demand in the buildings sector and in the industrial sector. Laboratory-type facilities offer powerful examples of how energy-efficiency improvements can yield abundant nonenergy benefits.

Focusing on California, the study found that laboratory-type buildings represent 51 million square feet of floor area in the state, with energy intensities four to five times higher than those found in ordinary office buildings. In the case of cleanrooms, intensities are 10 to 100 times higher, depending on the cleanliness classification. Statewide, laboratory-type facilities consumed 111 x 1012 BTUs of energy in 1993, including 8.8 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity (2100 megawatts) and 21 TBTUs of natural gas. In the absence of energy-efficiency improvements, projected demand growth is 131 percent (3.9 percent/year) to the year 2015. The annual energy cost in 1993 was $700 million, growing to $1,640 million by the year 2015. The study found an overall savings potential of 50 percent.

Within this project, the A-Team developed a new publication entitled A Design Guide for Energy-Efficient Research Laboratories, which will be described in the next issue. The project also generated a research agenda, identifying promising research frontiers in the general areas of design processes and energy data diagnostics; technology and systems integration; and indoor environmental management and control strategies.

Scenarios of Electricity Demand in California Laboratory-Type Facilities

—Evan Mills

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This work was supported by the California Institute for Energy Efficiency. The full edition of this report can be found on the World Wide Web.

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