Sue and Bill Gross Hall: A CIRM Institute

University of California – Irvine

Laboratories consume 2/3 of the total energy used on a college campus.  With a typical laboratory using 100% fresh air ventilation, labs are also prime targets for energy efficiency measures. Aircuity’s centralized demand control ventilation (DCV) technology continuously monitors critical parameters in the air and adjusts the ventilation based on conditions within the lab. The University of California, Irvine (UCI) implemented Aircuity’s OptiNet® system and Aircuity Advisor™ Services as part of their Smart Lab design, which has helped the university to significantly reduce their energy consumption.  

The University of California, Irvine is one of ten campuses that are a part of the University of California System and is home to over 28,000 students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff members. As a signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, UCI is dedicated to saving energy and reducing their carbon foot print. The University has committed to build all new laboratory buildings to a minimum of a LEED Silver rating and established the goal of beating California’s Energy Code, Title 24, by 50%.

With these goals set forth, UCI engineers worked together to create the Smart Lab design. Based on the significant energy savings that UCI was already receiving through previous installations of Aircuity’s centralized demand control ventilation system, OptiNet, Aircuity’s technology became one of the core components of the design.

UCI applied this Smart Lab design to a new construction project with spectacular results.  The Sue & Bill Gross Hall: A CIRM Institute not only achieved LEED Platinum certification, it became the first facility to outperform the California energy efficiency code by 50.4%. Although there are multiple design parameters that make up a Smart Lab, Aircuity’s solutions delivered 50% of UCI’s total savings. Besides significant energy savings, UCI also uses the data delivered through Advisor Services to monitor the safety of building and help in diagnosing any issues that may arise.

The University of California, Irvine has implemented the Smart Lab design in more than a dozen lab buildings on campus. These buildings all saw significant energy savings as well and yielded an average kWh savings of 55%, creating a new best practice for energy efficient laboratory design.

Aircuity’s OptiNet system will continue to help drive energy savings at UCI through it’s Smart Lab program and help the university to achieve its goal of significant energy savings.