IDEAL is a simulation tool for laboratory retrofit decision-making, which has been implemented as a database-driven web application that can be directly maintained and distributed to stakeholders.
These findings of a research project investigating retrofit scenarios for laboratory spaces operating fume hoods has led to the development of a decision-making model, which allows for comparing different retrofit options in a given spatial, thermal, and occupational safety context.
The application emphasizes that fume hoods are embedded terminal units of environmental systems that cover a variety of performance mandates, ranging from physical safety, to chemical safety, to thermal comfort, and ultimately fresh air requirements. It breaks the informational context into layers objects starting with a site, then following with specifications for buildings, laboratories, and installed fume hoods.
For each laboratory and its installed fume hoods, a variety of scenarios can be created. Starting with a baseline scenario, different retrofit solutions ranging from alternative fume hood configurations to setpoint changes, lighting modifications, and spatial changes can then be evaluated against each other. For each scenario a set of visualization options is provided, ranging from design load requirements, cooling demand break down, to monthly and annual energy balances for quick comparison.