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Energy Efficient Fume Cupboards for the University of Oxford

The University of Oxford has installed 18 Clean Air energy-efficient fume cupboards and two linked PVC extract systems. They form part of the largest laboratory building the University has ever constructed.

The 18 VAV High-Performance Radius Profile fume cupboards are located in the £70m Phase 2 expansion of the University’s acclaimed biochemistry building. The fume cupboard system is designed to protect operators, reduce energy costs and reduce the building’s carbon footprint.

Clean Air was part of the team of contractors who worked with Laing O’Rourke. They brought the project in ahead of schedule and under budget – despite extremely challenging circumstances. Talk to our containment specialists to find out how we can add value to your project.

Energy Efficient Fume Cupboards from Clean Air

The Radius Profile High-Performance energy-efficient fume cupboards all benefit from advanced Variable Air Volume (VAV) technology. This means the cost of running the fume cupboards is significantly lower than standard Constant Air Volume (CAV) units.

The exciting new biochemistry building houses six 1500 mm DDA units, eleven 1500 mm and one 1200 mm unit. Five different services arrangements were specified to meet the needs of different laboratories. Two linked PVC fume extract systems remove airborne contaminants from the Clean Air fume cupboards.

Clean Air Delivered

What Is VAV?

A VAV system reduces the amount of conditioned air pulled through a laboratory by a fume cupboard.
With VAV control, the amount of airflow through the space is varied to suit flow demand or to maintain environmental conditions. Therefore, as the fume cupboard sash is moved, the controls will adjust and vary the position of a damper to control the face velocity.

Why Use VAV?

There are many reasons to incorporate energy-efficient fume cupboards into a lab design, including their contribution towards achieving a ‘Very Good’ or ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating.
Save Energy Costs – Reduced volume flows need less energy to move the air and less energy (heating/cooling) to condition the air. This can result in savings of up to 70% or more in energy costs.
Reduce Carbon Footprint – Using less energy is better for the planet.
Reduce Cost – Reduced energy costs for the lifetime of the facility provides year on year savings.

Energy Efficient Radius Profile Fume Cupboards

Radius Profile Fume Cupboards are research-grade units and offer excellent fume containment, with a Robustness of Containment Protection Factor (PFR) of >4,500,000 for all widths at 0.5 m/s face velocity.

The smooth, curved inlet design is proven to eliminate air eddies in the internal chamber.  Fully tested to BS EN 14175 Part 3 Type test methods, and Part 6 Variable Air Volume fume cupboards, the Radius Profile range is ideal for projects with large quantities of mechanical and electrical services.

Energy-saving LED light fittings to illuminate the working chamber.

The latest digital control panel with VAV control allows face velocity to be controlled with the movement of the sash.

DDA Energy Efficient Fume Cupboards

Clean Air’s DDA Accessible fume cupboards offer enhanced access with no compromise from standard fixed bench-mounted units.

These six Radius Profile units have a rise and fall working-level operated by controls on the table frame.

The sash safe working opening is automatically adjusted as the working level is moved. The units’ features, services and controls are all fully useable at different working heights. They are ideal for use with various designs of wheelchairs.

Fire Suppression Systems

All the Clean Air fume cupboards supplied for the biochemistry building are fitted with a CO² Pneumatically Actuated Fire Suppression System. Each self-contained pneumatic system requires no external energy or power supply.

Upon flame impingement or heat, the pressurised detection tubing will burst and activate the cylinder valve to open and release the extinguishing agent.

The Fume Extract System – Ductwork

A safe and effective extract system is crucial to this design, as the wet labs are located in the core of the building with write-up and teaching rooms around the perimeter.

Clean Air’s ductwork is manufactured to meet BESA DW/154 Specification for Plastics Ductwork, which is the premier specification for PVC and PP-S (polypropylene) ducting.

All the circular ductwork for this project was fabricated from extruded ventilation grade grey PVC tube, radius bends and fittings.

We use blow and injection moulding techniques to ensure a smooth internal bore in the ventilation ducting which results in minimal air turbulence.

The fabricated rectangular ductwork accessories are manufactured from 3 mm or 4.5 mm thick grey PVC sheets. They have been welded by the hot rod fusion method using a single or tri-core filler rod of the same material for added strength.

This forms a completely airtight and leak-proof system that is resistant to fume and condensate. The system includes radius bends, reducers, flanged joints and transformation sections.

All the external ductwork and discharge stacks have been externally coated with a fibreglass mat impregnated with a polyester resin and finished with a resin-rich pigmented tissue. As a result, UV degradation of the PVC is prevented.

The Fume Extract System – Manifold System

All the fume cupboards are interconnected to two linked fume extract systems. The ductwork runs through the building to reach the two roof plantroom towers via two building service risers.

Both plantroom towers contain a manifold-type system. The three extract fans in each connect into the manifold system, which includes a sound attenuator and an electrical actuated multi-leaf VAV damper position on the inlet of each fan unit.

Each manifold is fitted with an electrically activated bleed damper sized for 50% combined load. As the building load increases the bleed damper closes, the second fan starts and slowly ramps to full speed, providing the increase in volume flow rate.

Energy Efficient Fume Cupboards for Labs  

The Energy Efficient Fume Cupboards and extract systems were all completed to a changing schedule. The main contractor and the university were extremely satisfied with the quality of the units supplied and with the professional service they received from Clean Air.

If you have a project you wish to discuss, just call our friendly team.