• Laboratories

The design of laboratory projects will generally be biased towards the design of the ventilation system tor fume control, containment, or providing specific close environmental conditions for either animal welfare or research processes.

The design of laboratories will need to take many factors into account, including the following:

  • Local exhaust ventilation systems
  • The minimum ventilation rates to dilute odours and contaminants
  • Pressure differentials or the air flow direction with respect to adjacent spaces
  • Temperature criteria and heat gains
  • Filtration standards
  • Standby capacity
  • Plant space and running costs
  • Fume discharges to atmosphere
  • Ductwork materials

Mechanical ventilation systems for laboratories need to provide a high level of reliability, as the system is critical to the proper functioning of the building and the business conducted within it, therefore the consequential losses arising from failure can be very significant in this type of building.

A minimum air change rate in a mechanically ventilated laboratory may be set between 6 and 15 air changes per hour, depending on the type of work that is being undertaken and the need to remove or dilute odours.

Laboratory ventilation system design is one of the most important specialties associated with the health and safety of laboratory occupants. The primary elements of a laboratory ventilation system are listed here as part of overall facility design considerations.

A proper laboratory ventilation system should:

  • Provide the necessary laboratory room ventilation rate to ensure proper indoor air quality (typically expressed as air changes per hour).
  • Remove chemical fumes and biological airborne substances and contaminants that pose a health or safety hazard to the building occupants.
  • Provide a proper face velocity tor fume hoods and other apparatus that is intended to prevent worker contact with fumes or hazardous airborne substances.
  • Ensure that laboratory room air and exhaust air are not re-circulated or allowed to migrate into other areas of the facility.

Supply conditioned air to laboratory rooms in a manner that does not cause drafts or air currents. Strong air currents could adversely affect the safety of fume hoods or other provisions for exhausting potentially hazardous fumes or airborne substances.

Provide the required laboratory room environment (temperature and humidity) required to maintain occupant comfort or whatever environmental constraints are necessary for the purpose and processes taking place within a particular laboratory.

Provide special modes of operation to maximise and possibly redirect the laboratory exhaust capability and ventilation air in response to a variety of emergencies including a laboratory fire, explosion, chemical spill, release of toxic fumes, etc.

Provide the proper level of indoor air quality and comfort desired for non-laboratory areas within the same building (administrative offices, support facilities, lobbies, lunchrooms, etc.).

Operate at an acceptable sound level so as not to be an annoyance or interfere with sounds emanating from the laboratory activities.

Elta Fans’ provide a range of ventilation products for laboratory applications, where high pressure tans are required, principally to overcome filter resistances, whilst the laboratory environment also dictates fans be as quiet as possible, so for more information, please look at examples of typical products that could be used for these applications, or alternatively, please contact us to discuss your specific application requirement.