School of Medicine Building Less Exhausted

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Scully Center for Clinical Science Research (CCSR) is blowing less air out of its four exhaust stacks since the last in a series of energy efficiency projects were completed this spring. Actively pushing “used” air out of laboratory buildings like CCSR is important because the air may be contaminated with chemical, biological, or radiological hazards. Laboratory exhaust stacks are designed to dilute and eject the potential hazards far enough to minimize risk to people working on the roof, local building occupants, and passing pedestrians. Informed by wind-tunnel analysis of CCSR’s exhaust plumes, working with Facilities Energy Management, the School of Medicine was able to significantly reduce the amount of energy needed to achieve the desired level of exposure risk management. They took advantage of variable speed drives and digital controls on the exhaust fans to safely reduce fan speed and thereby generate an annual savings of 126,000 kilowatt-hours, which is worth about $18,000 per year at the current electricity rate.