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Designing Lab Exhaust Stacks

New Course Teaches Best Practices for Designing Lab Exhaust Stacks

From eSociety, May 2019

Laboratories consume significantly more energy than a typical office building, due to their specialized ventilation needs. Unfortunately, these needs often are not considered. For example, a poorly designed laboratory exhaust stack system means exhaust stacks can be placed too close to air intakes. Sometimes, stacks are forced to be short to limit the visual impact.

Applying prescriptive “rules of thumb” can often result in overly tall stacks, excessive energy consumption, or even an unhealthy work environment," said Brad Cochran, Member ASHRAE, chair of TC 9.10, Laboratory Systems.

“With a poorly designed laboratory exhaust system, the concentration of the fume hood exhaust at the roof top air intake can be an order of magnitude greater than the concentrations present in front of the fume hood,” he said. “When a fume hood fails an ASHRAE 110 (ASHRAE Standard 110, Methods of Testing Performance of Laboratory Fume Hoods) fume hood containment test, one of the culprits may be high concentrations of the tracer gas being re-entrained back into the lab through the ventilation system, rather than any leakage out of the front of the fume hood.”

To learn best practices for specifying the most ideal exhaust stack for laboratory ventilation systems, a new course is launching this June at ASHRAE’s Annual Conference in Kansas City. The course will explore the topics of stack and air intake design strategies, dispersion modeling, and energy-saving control strategies.

“The objectives are to provide guidance that can be applied early in the design process to avoid adverse air quality within the laboratory, then to detail the steps that can be taken to formalize the design and operation of the laboratory exhaust system to maintain a safe working environment while minimizing energy consumption,” said Cochran, the course instructor.

This intermediate course is intended for MEP engineers, architects, lab owners and health and safety engineers who want to learn how to properly design laboratory ventilation systems to ensure safety and increase energy efficiency.

Register now for ASHRAE Learning Institute’s “Laboratory Exhaust Stacks: Safe and Energy-Efficient Design.”