The carbon intensity of labs present designers with a unique challenge. These highly complex facilities demand far greater ventilation than most building types and use energy-intensive equipment that is often in operation 24 hours a day.
Labs also need robust structural systems to limit building vibration and support heavy imposed loads. Structural systems, typically made up of concrete and steel, contain high quantities of embodied carbon, i.e., the global warming emissions expended in the base extraction, manufacturing and transportation of building materials.
In this technical report, HOK’s Science + Technology team analyzes three design approaches to demonstrate how labs can be built and operated to meet the 2030 energy use and embodied carbon challenges of the Royal Institute of British Architects and American Institute of Architects.
For a general overview of our research, download our companion piece, Net Zero Lab Executive Summary.