Two major upgrades beginning this week are expected to reduce our carbon footprint by 450 tCO2 and save £115,000 annually. Fume cupboard ventilation systems in Chemistry are being overhauled, along with lighting improvements in a number of buildings for the School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science (SAGES).
Fume cupboards perform an essential role in protecting users from exposure to hazardous substances during experiments. However, they are also very energy hungry, using electricity to run their ventilation systems, and adding to heating bills because they extract heated air from the laboratories. Installing more intelligent controls, and separately ventilating chemical storage cupboards, is expected to cut the energy bill for 2 large teaching labs in Chemistry by around 70%.
Figure 1 – new high-efficiency fans for Chemistry fume cupboard ventilation system
Meanwhile, work begins this week on lighting upgrades in a number of SAGES buildings. This is part of a wider project to provide new facilities in the Russell Building, Allen Lab and Wager Building and will see a combination of new, efficient lights and intelligent sensors slashing energy costs and consumption.
Very good paybacks of around 3.5 years are expected for these works, with funding coming from a combination of government-backed 0% loans and internal capital funding. These are the latest projects in our efforts to cut our carbon emissions by 35% by 2016. Details of some of the many other initiatives can be found at http://www.reading.ac.uk/cleanandgreen/energy