Yale University


With 160 eight-foot chemical fume hoods as well as 74 point exhaust systems, 74 vented chemical storage cabinets, 37 equipment exhaust locations, and a once-through air system, Yale University’s Chemistry Research Building was an extreme energy consumer.

The Situation

A project team was tasked with reducing energy costs and focused on both re-thinking the fume hood design and reducing overall ventilation to laboratory spaces; keeping in mind adequate health and safety protection for students and faculty. The project team also sought to optimize ventilation airflow into laboratory areas by implementing measures such as reduced airflow in unoccupied lab spaces without reducing air quality.

The Solution

To optimize laboratory ventilation, make existing fume hoods more efficient, and lower the ACH, Phoenix Controls VAV valves, Combination Sash Sensors, fume hood monitors, and Zone Presence Sensors® (also known as ZPS® sensors) were installed. A life cycle cost study showed a 40 percent reduction in energy use could be achieved by reducing exhaust through the hoods when the floor area in front of the hood was unoccupied.

The Result

More than 380 Phoenix Controls VAV valves were installed at Yale’s Chemistry Research Building. Phoenix Controls fume hood monitors and Zone Presence Sensors were installed on all the eight-foot combination fume hoods to reduce the face velocity when the hoods were unoccupied. Reduced fume hood exhaust combined with lower air change rates during unoccupied periods delivered significant operational savings within two years of the building retrofit coming on-line.