CalTech Thomas Laboratory of Engineering
The Thomas Laboratory is located on the famous campus of the California Institute of Technology. Originally built in 1945, this historic building now exceeds standard practices for energy efficiency. The foremost goal of the project was to meet the rigorous needs of the building users while also targeting an annual energy use reduction of up to 50%, compared to other buildings. This was achieved with the use of high-efficiency mechanical systems, an efficient building envelope, efficient lighting and electrical systems.
The design and equipment used within the building serves as a notable example of feasible sustainable design. The laboratory includes a dedicated outside air handling system, resulting in a 75% reduction in air movement fan energy, elimination of reheat, compressor-free cooling during most of the year, and heat recovery ventilation. In addition to plug load management, the day-lighting and low energy lighting helps reduce the heat load in the lab space.