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Choosing a Life Sciences HVAC System


Technology in the field of life sciences is always changing. For most sciences, change is great – it indicates progress in the field and a hope for better understanding in the future. Sometimes, though, change can be difficult to implement and come alongside high operating costs. When designing or updating a life sciences facility, it only makes sense to use a high quality vent system, if only to avoid the high cost of change in the future. Not only that, but a vent system that is able to accurately control the airflow in each room at a low energy and maintenance cost is fundamental to the quality of the work produced in the facility, so making a good investment in which one to use is vital to the success of any life science lab.

Control systems for life science facilities should reduce the overall cost of heating, cooling, and air conditioning so that the facility can run at a reduced operational cost. With the challenges securing funding for research, facilities that can operate without spending very much have the upper hand because they are able to spend more money on the research itself instead of on running the building. However, HVAC systems for a life science lab need to have other important features in order to preserve the integrity of the samples produced there.

For example, one important feature is the ability to precisely control everything about the environment of a given room, including air flow and pressure, humidity, temperature, and the level of air filtration. Not every room in a lab will necessarily require these features, but because the ventilation system runs throughout the whole building, it is inevitable that rooms next to each other are going to influence the environment of the room. This must also be taken into account with a good control system. Some allow certain sections to be controlled independently.

Though being able to precisely control all of these factors is important, it is also important that the HVAC system not be too high maintenance. Working in a lab is an extremely strenuous and busy job without having to worry about fiddling with the ventilation system every day. Constantly having to clean or check the sensors on an HVAC system can be time-consuming, and it is extremely important that the system be functioning properly at all times. Systems, which have easy installation and low maintenance, have the advantages over other systems that do not.

When updating or building a research facility, all of these factors should be considered in choosing an HVAC system. The HVAC system should also be considered in the long-term – will it need to be updated at some point in the future? If so, when? It may be worth it to invest in a higher-end system to avoid the eventual costs of updating the system when it is needed. Most importantly, the specific goals of the facility should be kept in mind when installing a control system so that it fully meets the needs of the laboratory.