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Aircuity Program Makes Impact at Clinical & Medical Research Organization

Aircuity Case Study: University Health Network

University Health Network (UHN) is a research hospital located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada which operates four major hospitals: Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto General Hospital, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. UHN currently employs 837 researchers and over 1,500 support staff.

In need of additional research space, UHN leased the Toronto Medical Discovery Tower (TMDT) located in the MaRS Discovery District, which consisted of lab and office space. The TMDT was completed in 2006 and is a total of 15 floors and nearly 400,000 sq ft. UHN recognized the significant amount of energy required to operate the large amount of labs and knew there had to be a way to lessen utility costs, allowing more of UHN’s funding to be spent on research.


Toronto Medical Discovery Tower (TDMT)
Photo Courtesy of Adamson Associates Architects

Choosing an Airside Program

Labs are known for being one of the most energy intensive spaces to operate thanks to the large amount of outside air being continuously exhausted through the research space, even when the environment is perfectly clean. With lab space occupying a vast amount of the square footage of the building, optimizing the ventilation was the perfect opportunity to greatly reduce costs. The labs were in 24/7 operation so installation of the chosen energy conversation measure needed to be discrete and not disrupt the research taking place. Through the help of a local channel partner, Aircuity was identified as the best solution and an airside program was developed to optimize the ventilation throughout the building.

Enough Air…to Fill a Blimp

When the project first began, the lab spaces were running at 12 air change rates per hour (ACH) and a study found that the building was exhausting enough air to fill a Goodyear blimp every minute! With the clear overventilation of the lab and office spaces, the project to match ventilation to current conditions within the spaces got underway. Aircuity enabled the beginning ACH of 12 to be reduced to a baseline of 3–4 ACH, which increases when additional fresh air is needed. At the start, Aircuity was implemented on three floors of the building. A reduction in supply air and yet fully managed ventilation was established on each floor and soon after the solution was installed in the remaining spaces.

Creating sustainable research programs must be supported through the creation of sustainable research labs. Keeping staff safe by measuring the quality of air is far better than assuming enough air exchange is doing the job. Having a sustainable air management system while ensuring safety and reducing our environmental impact is the greatest success of this project. – Ian McDermott, Senior Director, Research Planning and Safety, University Health Network

Energy Savings

Once fully implemented the Aircuity program began to make immediate impact. Based on four months of UHN’s data, kWh was reduced by 744,000, and based on 6 months of owner data, UHN reduced its steam usage by 36M lbs (degree day corrected). Today the research institute is saving approximately $800,000 annually in utility costs. As a result, more of University Health Network’s funding is freed up and can be directed back into research.

Lab space

TDMT Lab Space
Photo Courtesy of NCL Architects

About Aircuity

Aircuity creates measurably better environments while taking a bite out of energy goals. The company’s smart automated airside solutions optimize air change rates based on comprehensive indoor environmental data. As a result, commercial, institutional and lab building owners can lower operating costs, improve safety and cut energy use by up to 60%. Founded in 2000 and headquartered in Newton, MA, Aircuity’s solutions have benefited organizations across the globe including The Jackson Laboratory, Farmington, CT, Bristol Community College, Fall River, MA.

Flow Tech is Aircuity’s local representative for Connecticut, Western MA and the Boston area. If you’re located with in this geographical area contact us today to start the discussion on how Aircutiy’s Airside solutions can help your facility. Feel free to visit our website for more information too. You can also always stay up-to-date from our social media posts, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube!

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