System requirements, energy efficiency key to national lab design

By Steve Rhoades 

Advancing science and innovation is one of the primary missions of the Department of Energy, a long-standing client of IMEG’s Federal Science & Technology team. As a result of this work, we understand the many critical issues facing highly regulated science and technology environments. These issues include: 

  • Highly diverse system requirements and processes 
  • Safety 
  • Sustainability 
  • Flexibility 
  • Redundancies 
  • Pressure relationships 
  • Controls 
  • Energy reduction 
  • Emergency energy generation 

Each of the Department of Energy’s 17 National Laboratories are required to meet high performance and sustainable buildings requirements, which focus on integrating new technology that has a lasting impact on improved facility operation. To meet these requirements, our engineers focus on providing innovative design solutions and new technology for energy recovery, chilled beams, decoupled ventilation and heating/cooling in non-laboratory areas, high-efficiency boilers, fan arrays, low-flow plumbing fixtures, LED lighting, daylighting controls, multilevel switching, and vacancy sensors. 

These technologies are at work in various combinations at all IMEG’s National Laboratory projects. Recent examples include: 

Knowing that laboratories inherently use more energy than many other types of facilities, our experts consider each project’s requirements and options – from ventilation rates to fume hood type and location – to determine the most efficient design. In addition to safety needs, our designers understand the importance of proper temperature and humidity control, filtration, and acoustics. Our solutions also consistently provide energy savings 30 percent better than ASHRAE 90.1 while maintaining occupant safety and equipment protection. 

Besides design, our science and technology specialists assist clients with their capital planning, programming, master planning, and LEED certification in new development, upgrades, and modernizations.  

By safely and efficiently meeting the needs of the nation’s cutting-edge public research institutions, IMEG does its part to support the DOE’s pursuit of answers to the most critical scientific challenges of our time.