By Deborah Ruriani, Miele Professional
Planning a lab that meets today’s requirements for sustainability is a top demand for lab planners and architects. The U.S. Green Building Council certified its first LEED Building in 2002 and since then the movement to create sustainable buildings has put pressure on architects to become experts in environmental efficiency. Every part of the process, from the design of the room to determination of heating and cooling systems to the actual selection of fume hoods, ovens, and labwashers, is driven by a greater plan to achieve LEED accreditation or to ensure the lab is more energy efficient than before.
Selecting products for the lab has grown beyond an analyzation of features, benefits and performance to the sustainability measures of a product. In many cases, the more sustainability a product boasts, the higher the price tag. So how does the planner argue for the additional expense of a high-end, high-performing, truly green product in a market that is focused on the bottom line? He or she has to delve beyond the features and benefits and examine the total cost of ownership of the specified product.