Q4 2018/2019

Report Date
August 2019

The VAV fume cupboards work at Joseph Black was completed this quarter, and users have been trained by the installers. Engagement team are developing SRS guidance (A4 poster) on best use of the new fume cupboards. The project construction phase was apparently satisfactory to the end users and they are happy with the new situation, so hopefully this will facilitate the roll out of similar projects elsewhere in Chemistry. It is understood that Estates (Energy Office) are identifying next steps for ventilation improvements in Joseph Black Building already.

The Ashworth engagement monitoring project has been impacted by delays from Energy Office in identifying and procuring appropriate energy monitors for this task. This project will require a relatively large number of circuits to be monitored separately (up to 10), for a year, which is more substantial than previous projects. This is necessary in order to ensure we are monitoring only the lab equipment energy consumption, and not lighting or office equipment. It is understood that a preferred choice of monitor has now been identified, but purchase is yet to take place – it is possible that the Sustainable Campus Fund may be requested to pay for this (in the region of £3k). Installation of the monitors requires power to be shut off to the lab for an hour or so – thus engagement with the building manager and lab users is required prior to this happening in order to allow them to prepare their work. A suitable installation time when a planned shut-down was occurring anyway was missed in June as a result of the above noted issue with identifying suitable monitoring devices.

The Sustainable Cold Storage facilitator internship is suffering from a lack of prior engagement of the freezer owners by the School of Biological Sciences. Very few volunteered to have their freezers worked on, and most of those who did volunteer only wanted filters and fins cleaned, not a defrost and not the most impactful aspect of an inventory. The difference between this year and last may be due to the school undertaking the promotion of the scheme, possibly wording it differently to how SRS would have. This is a learning point for future.

Sustainable Campus Fund has approved 5 projects (to upgrade the lighting in the refurbished fume cupboards, to purchase timer plugs, to replace an old drying oven, to upgrade room lighting in Fleeming Jenkin labs, and to fund the material costs of 3D printing LILEE devices) as well as funds for 6 new ULT freezers in Q4. One other lab project (solvent reduction at QMRI) has been put on hold awaiting strategic decision about future use of the funds (meeting to be held in August 2019). In addition, the Utilities Working Group were made aware of a possible future application for funds for a Freezer Farm at Easter Bush – pending more detailed thermal modelling calculations being commissioned by the Energy Office.


Lab Plastic Waste - Progress in Q4

Further best practice research and guidance for reducing lab plastics has been generated, and a survey was conducted to better understand purchasing, use, and disposal of plastic items in University laboratories. The survey received 225 responses and initial analysis of results is underway. The number of responses was higher than expected, particularly the free-text responses about disposal habits and desired support, which has generated more data than anticipated and a slight delay in the project timeline. Continued analysis and sharing of findings is planned for Q1 2019/2020. 

Project Status
RAG Status
Change Status
Has formal escalation taken place?
Approved budget
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Project Info

SLB2 Utilities, Waste and Carbon Saving
SRS - Sustainable Laboratories (SLB)
Project Manager
Andrew Arnott
Project Sponsor
Michelle Brown
Current Stage
In Progress
Start Date
Planning Date
Delivery Date
Close Date
Overall Priority


Not available.