Fume hoods

Shut the Hood

The Shut the Hood project is an initiative from Green Office Wageningen aimed at improving the safe use as well as the energy consumption of fume hoods on campus. You can find out more about the project and its vision on this page. Results will also be uploaded here.

About Shut the Hood

Did you know that the Wageningen campus has more than 600 fume hoods that are used by both employees and students? Studies have shown that for a the majority of these hoods, the sash is permanently open, even during the weekends and the holidays. This is a problem when they are not in use; an open hood is less safe than a shut one. Moreover, the more open the hood is, the more more ventilation is needed, the more energy is consumed. When the hood is not in use, this means all this energy is wasted.

In order to reduce the amount of fume hoods that are open outside of working hours, Green Office Wageningen is launching the ‘Shut the Hood’ project. A campaign that focuses on informing, motivating and incentivising both students and employees on safe and sustainable fume hood usage.

Energy Usage

If the sash of a fume hood is open, it is most likely also in the highest ventilation stance. As such, the direct energy usage of the fume hood is higher than if the same fume hoods would be in the lowest ventilation stance. However, the largest amount of energy used by a fume hood in the highest ventilation stance is indirect. As fume hood sucks air out of a building and transports this outside, fresh air has to be brought in again. But before the fresh air is let into the building and the labs, it first has to be treated and heated, which costs a tremendous amount of energy.

Combining both the direct and indirect energy usage, a fume hood that is permanently in the highest ventilation stance will on average use the same amount of energy as 3.5 households. On the other hand, a fume hood in the lowest ventilation stance will on average only consume the same amount of energy as 1.5 households. Everybody wins if we reduce our combined energy usage, so lets Shut the Hood!


Fume hoods often contain dangerous chemicals or substances as a manner of storing them, or as residue from previous experimentation. Though an open fume hood is supposed to provide enough ventilation power to adequately deal with its contents, a closed fume hood reduces the likelihood of substances or chemicals escaping when a fume hood is not being used. This is especially beneficial in overnight situations when a lab is empty and there is nobody around to intervene. So stay safe and Shut the Hood!


The Shut the Hood campaign is made up of a number of distinct projects. Some projects, like the placement of red and green arrows next to fume hoods, are meant to raise awareness. In combination with our infographic and practicumclip, we try to inform as many students as possible.

Spread the message

If you want to help us spread our message you can share this infographic via e-mail or social media. Of course, you can also print it and hang it in your own laboratory!


Don’t hesitate to ask us at greenofficewageningen@wur.nl!