During this past summer internship program one of the projects was to assist in the writing of a guidance document that would help the architects and engineers select more energy efficient fume hoods for laboratory renovations and any new building plans. However, there are no current renovations or new building plans so the question arose: What can we do to reduce energy consumption in the laboratories right now?
This is where the “Shut the Sash” campaign comes into play. When a fume hoods sash, which is the sliding glass door that covers the front of a fume hoods, is left open a large volume of air is constantly exhausted from the building, wasting massive amounts of energy. A single fume hood can use as much energy as three to four residential homes. If the sash is shut when the fume hood is not in use then the volume of air will decrease, resulting in significant energy savings.
Several other academic institutions have implemented similar programs to great success. Two stickers have been designed as part of the project.
There is also a second sticker that will go along the outside of the fume hood at the “operating height”. The operating height is approximately 18 inches from the bottom of the fume hood and is the height that laboratory workers should place the sash when working in the fume hood for optimal safety and energy savings.
Besides prompting laboratory workers with the stickers to shut the sash, there is also a website being developed that will detail how shutting the sash benefits energy savings and will debunk any common myths about fume hood use and operation as well as an email account if anyone has a specific question not addressed on the website.
Written by Sara Dille, Fume Hood Efficiency and Labs 21 Pilot Intern, firstname.lastname@example.org