Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning systems (HVAC) systems are fundamental to the operation and control of laboratories, in particular where barriers and containment systems are in use. Our ‘Fingerprinting Survey’ is extremely useful in determining how well such systems are functioning at a given point in time.
Rigorous Method Statements and Risk Assessments are conducted prior to the undertaking of any survey work in a laboratory or Biological Support Unit (BSU).
The "Fingerprinting Survey" includes a condition survey, where we comment on the condition of the systems and carry out performance testing measured against the originally specified Commissioning figures for the building.
The main air handling, extract plant and equipment is surveyed and electrical loads – voltage and current are measured.
The operation and settings on variable speed drives and the Building Management System are reviewed and the outputs noted against actual performance.
In addition to the above, mechanical drives are checked and inspected for signs of damage or wear that may impact on performance. Pre-filters, bag filters and HEPA filtration are inspected and any pressure drops noted.
Fixed and dynamic dampers in ductwork are inspected and tested. Duct traverses are performed to measure volume supply and extract flow rates against specified commissioning schedules.
Air flow rates are measured at all supply and extract grilles in the facility. Pressure differentials are measured in rooms and corridors to determine the pressure gradient. Any anomalies are identified and reported for analysis. – See report extract below:
Resulting potential improvements
The Fingerprint Survey findings are utilised as part of the BPO process to identify improvements that can be undertaken for the facility.
In many cases we find they are critical to a correct understanding of how a facility actually operates and when coupled with our other information are useful for identifying ongoing problems and the potential to produce rogue outcomes together with associated risks and costs during research programmes.