Better Buildings Alliance Laboratory Fume Hood Specification

The Better Buildings Alliance (BBA) has released a specification for laboratory fume hoods that outlines energy-related product requirements. Purchasers can use the specification today to ensure they are procuring a high-efficiency, high-quality product from manufacturers.

A single fume hood in a typical lab can use more than 20,000 kWh per year. Laboratory fume hoods built to the BBA specification can reduce electricity use by at least 50%, compared to baseline units—while also reducing space conditioning energy loads. This could save up to 50,000 kWh of energy and $5,000 over 5 years. If all fume hoods in the United States were replaced with fume hoods that met the energy requirements in the BBA specification, laboratories could save 7.5 TWh of energy, or about $760 million in energy costs, per year.

If you are interested in saving energy and saving on your business's utility bills consider using this specification when procuring a new laboratory fume hood, or modifying your current fume hood's operating characteristics.

How to Use the Specification

STEP 1: Answer the following set of questions to determine if a high efficiency laboratory fume hood is right for your building. If you answer "yes" to the first two questions and at least one other question, replacing your old fume hood, or modifying your exiting fume hood, is likely to be a value-generating option for your building.

  1. Is your laboratory fume hood either bypass or variable volume in both dedicated-fan or manifolded configurations?
  2. Do you own your facilities or are responsible for the laboratory equipment within?
  3. Do you not practice proper sash management?
  4. Does your fume hood meet all applicable containment requirements in Section of ANSI/AIHA Z9.5-2012 when the face velocity is set to 65 fpm?
  5. Does your electrical demand profile change significantly throughout the day, week or year?
  6. Are your local electricity costs high, or are you concerned they will rise in the near future?

STEP 2: Find financial incentives you may qualify for on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency website. Then calculate the financial savings you could achieve by switching to a high efficiency laboratory fume hood. To use the BBA requirements in the calculator, be certain that the second fume hood lists a vertical opening equivalent to the Design Sash Opening specified by the manufacturer and lists a face velocity of 65 fpm.

STEP 3: Download the BBA laboratory fume hood specification template, and develop a customized specification to reflect your specific site's needs.

STEP 4: Modify your existing fume hood in accordance to the requirements in the BBA specification and start saving money and energy!

Additional Information

Below are links to additional resources as well as case studies demonstrating building energy savings and annual operating cost savings from buildings using fume hoods that meet BBA specifications.

For any questions on this, or other, BBA specifications please contact