University of Reading fume cupboard ventilation improvements result in impressive carbon and financial savings

The University of Reading identified fume cupboards that had been running 24/7 since they were installed, and by investing a total of £1,010,000, they undertook a programme of works to improve the efficiency of these fume cupboards.  Funding for the project included £187,000 of interest-free Salix funding, £418,000 from the Salix/HEFCE joint funded Revolving Green Fund (RGF4) and £405,000 of their own internal funding,

A Variable Air Volume (VAV) control system was installed to allow extraction and make up ventilation to be matched to user needs, as well as enabling the fume cupboards to be switched off when not required. These works have reduced the carbon emissions of the fume cupboards by over 72% and have generated measured financial savings of over £316k per year for the University. The measured savings are notably higher than those which were predicted due to the energy wastage from fume cupboards being underestimated.

Dan Fernbank, Energy Manager at the University of Reading said; “Our fume cupboard efficiency programme has delivered some of the best savings we have achieved through our ongoing Carbon Management Programme. The support and funding from Salix Finance was invaluable in making this scheme a reality, and in providing university decision makers with assurance that the anticipated financial returns would be delivered.”

The University was recently awarded a Green Gown Award in recognition of their impressive 35% reduction to the carbon footprint for their estate.

A case study on the University of Reading can be found here.

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