EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — A Cleanpak® complete air distribution and filtration cleanroom system from Nortek Air Solutions is a vital component in the University of Illinois Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Building, named R&D Magazine’s 2016 Laboratory of the Year. As the recipient as the Lab of the Year award, ECE was recognized for its status as a teaching and research facility designed to promote interdisciplinary interaction in a net zero-ready facility.

The 230,000-square-foot facility on the Urbana campus of the University of Illinois consists of high-tech instructional classrooms, 21 labs, student lounges, an instructional clean room, student organizational offices, 11 teaching assistant meeting rooms, study rooms, faculty offices, and a 400-seat auditorium. It was designed and constructed to set new standards in efficient building energy use and invest in renewable energy, including a planned solar array.

As a result of its innovative design, the ECE Building uses 50 percent less energy than the minimum building energy efficiency standards established in ASHRAE Standard 90-2007 — what the architectural and engineering designers on the project, SmithGroupJJR, called “an exceptional achievement considering the energy-intensive nature of a laboratory building containing an instructional cleanroom.”

When it came to the cleanroom in the ECE, SmithGroupJJR selected the Cleanpak system based on its positive experience of using it on previous laboratory projects. The cleanroom system at the ECE Building includes recirculation air handlers (RAH) using Nortek Air Solutions’ patented Fanwall Technology® features for air handling systems to supply the large volume of distribution air for the cleanroom. Additional benefits include reduced noise levels, consistent airflow, improved energy efficiency, and redundancy for reliable operations.

The RAH units sit directly on top of the laminar flow plenums. The supply air plenums include high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filters installed in Nortek Air Solutions’ patented gel seal flush light ceiling grid system. Gel seals incorporated in this system help to prevent leakage around the HEPA filters. The plenums also incorporate fire sprinkler systems. Screens below the HEPA filters enable laminar flow throughout the cleanroom.

“Nortek Air Solutions’ Cleanpak system has been proven in cleanrooms around the world,” said Harry Scott, regional manager for Cleanpak products. “This product has been utilized by many universities wanting state-of-the-art cleanrooms such as Princeton, Carnegie Mellon, Harvard, the King Abdullah University & Science Technology (KAUST), the Masdar Institute of Technology & Science (MIST), and most recently has been selected for MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology], Brown University, and the University of Southern California.”

“We congratulate the University of Illinois for winning the 2016 Laboratory of the Year Award,” said Mark DeVincent, president of Nortek Air Solutions. “And we thank the project team for selecting the Cleanpak cleanroom system for their lab.”

In addition to the Lab of the Year award, the facility’s design and construction is on target to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Platinum certification and receive a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Energy Star® rating of 99 on a 100-point scale.

For more information about Nortek Air Solutions and the Cleanpak system, visit www.nortekair.com.

Publication date: 8/4/2016

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