One of the most important aspects of building a safe, clean laboratory is your HVAC system. Many of us have these in our homes, but a home system is nothing compared to a lab system. As you probably know, labs require a much more precise and powerful HVAC system in order to run efficiently and keep employees healthy.
Here are 2 key things you need to know about your laboratory HVAC:
Your lab will have high exhaust requirements. It’s important to get any airborne contaminants out of the lab as quickly as possible to protect the health of your employees. Bacteria, pathogens, dust, dirt, and other particles can contaminate your work as well as harm employees.
The HVAC will need to be cleaned frequently. Your system will be working harder than any standard system in order to keep your workspace clean. While this means that harmful particles will be removed quickly, it also means that the HVAC will require frequent cleaning to make sure the air in your lab remains clean.
Planning for your HVAC System
A powerful filtration system is necessary for any lab, but not all labs have the same requirements. Be sure you know what your lab requires to be comfortable, successful, and safe. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- How many air changes are required per hour? Different types of labs will demand fresh air more frequently than others. Be aware of what sorts of contaminants are being released into the air and how often.
- Will you require a backup generator? Consider the size of the lab. Larger labs will demand more power, and in the case of an emergency, extra generators may be a requirement.
- Do any of your spaces have special demands? For example, consider any special pressurization relationship needs or cross-contamination requirements. Know which areas of your lab demand better HVAC functionality than others.
- Is there a time of day where your lab could use less energy? Many labs shut down overnight and do not need to have their HVAC systems running at full capacity. Other labs require just as much power at night as they do during the day. Know your lab’s needs.
- Does your lab require 100% outdoor air? Some labs have processes that require 100% outside air. This is a more complex process and can change your specific needs in an HVAC system.
- Who will control the HVAC? Determine whether or not your end-users can have control over the HVAC depending on their needs. Some facilities allow this control while others do not.
- What kind of lab is it? There are four general types of labs: biological, chemical, animal, and physical. Each one has different codes and standards you need to be aware of before you begin constructing your lab.
Understanding what your lab needs to be comfortable, efficient, and safe is one of the first steps to building or remodeling a lab. We at LCS Constructors understand the importance of a strong HVAC system and a building that supports air change processes. Be sure to contact us so we can help you determine what the best system is for your lab.