Green Gown Awards 2016 Facilities and Services University of Reading - Winner

Tags: sustainability | green gown awards | energy | carbon reduction | facilities and services | University of Reading

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Extracting carbon savings from our science labs

A £1.025 million estate-wide review and upgrade of science laboratory ventilation, covering 252 fume cupboards to deliver annual savings of 1,037 tCO2 and £315,641.

Following a successful £250,000 pilot in 2014, the University established a working group to review fume cupboard ventilation estate-wide, chaired by the Dean of Science. This brought together the best internal and external expertise, engaging all stakeholders involved.

This working group developed proposals for a further investment of up to £1 million, with the potential to save a further 760 tCO2 and £256,562 annually in addition to the 343 tCO2 and £91,683 annual savings from the pilot scheme. The final feasible rollout has come in under budget at £768,000, with delivered savings of 694 tCO2 and £223,958 annually. The labs are now more efficient, safer and warmer as a result.

Top 3 learnings

1 Continuously running fume cupboards can cost as much as £3,000/year each; with electricity and heating accounting for approx. 50% each

2 Technical improvements can achieve good savings; but engaging users to establish good practice remains an essential part of this project’s potential

3 Unexpected knock-on benefit of much warmer laboratories has been a great engagement benefit with staff and students; finding messages relevant to staff is particularly important

CO2t Savings: 694 tonnes  
Actual/Estimated: Actual
No. of yrs: Annually

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