Smart Labs Accelerator - Completed

Smart Labs Accelerator - Completed

A typical laboratory is 3-4 times more energy-intensive than an average commercial building and can account for up to 70% of a campus’s energy footprint, making laboratories a key focal area for energy and carbon management strategies at universities, corporations, national laboratories, hospitals, and federal agencies. Accelerator partners worked to develop standardized approaches to overcoming common barriers to energy efficiency in laboratories. DOE helped partners document model strategies that include operational changes, technological upgrades, and strategic energy management approaches in the Smart Labs Accelerator Toolkit. As a result, partners saved 103 billion BTUs and realized an average portfolio improvement of 11%, on track to surpass the Accelerator’s 20% energy reduction goal in 10 years.

Why Efficiency Adds up in Labs

Did you know a typical laboratory is 3-to-4 times more energy intensive than an average commercial building and can account for up to 70% of a given campus’ energy footprint?

Get Involved

Better Buildings hosts interactive webinars featuring a variety of topics exploring cost-effective ways for organizations to integrate energy savings into their daily building operations. All Better Buildings webinars are free to attend.

The Better Buildings Webinar Series

Dedicated to bringing you the latest actionable insights on today's energy efficiency landscape, the webinar series is a chance to explore the topics and trends that affect your organization with industry experts and your peers.

Featured Solutions

This fact sheet highlights the results of the Smart Labs Accelerator, links to relevant partner case studies, and provides a summary of overall savings.
A key goal of the Better Buildings Smart Labs Accelerator was to help organizations optimize the performance of their laboratories by mitigating safety and health risks, reducing energy, and improving ventilation. This toolkit is an easy-to-use, step-by-step guide containing additional tasks, resources, and deliverables to guide your organization through a systems-based management approach.
3M achieved a 12% reduction in energy usage, saving $400,000 annually, after converting the lab space ventilation system to variable air volume at one of its main laboratory buildings at 3M Center—the company’s corporate headquarters and primary research and development site in Maplewood, MN.
Review of UC Irvine's Smart Labs program, illustrating upgrades made to the Natural Sciences II facility.

Other Resources

Case Study

Providing supply and exhaust air to laboratory fume hoods is highly energy intensive, yet many researchers forget to shut the sash after use. To address the confusion, a lab manager at the University of California designed a bold vinyl sticker to attach on the exterior sidewall of a fume hood that uses the ubiquitous traffic light color scheme. The low-cost project led to energy savings and safety benefits.

Fact Sheets

A typical laboratory is 3-to 4-times more energy intensive than an average commercial building and can account for up to 70% of a given campus’ energy footprint, making laboratories a key focal area for energy and carbon management strategies at universities, corporations, national laboratories, hospitals, and federal agencies.
This fact sheet highlights the results of the Smart Labs Accelerator, links to relevant partner case studies, and provides a summary of overall savings.

Guidance

This guide describes procedures to operate ULT freezers efficiently and to improve sample access.
This document describes how to implement a fume hood sash management campaign.
This presentation illustrates how the University of Colorado optimized laboratory ventilation rates.
This presentation addresses laboratory ventilation flow rates. 

Implementation Model

UC Irvine's integrated “Smart Lab” program improves lab energy efficiency through an array of control and sensor technologies; labs using this program can achieve energy savings of up to 60%.

Presentations

Learn about organizations that have implemented campus-wide programs to institute measures that improve laboratory efficiency and safety, also known as Smart Labs Programs.
Ventilation is a critical component to providing a safe and productive laboratory environment. It is also one of the primary consumers of energy in most laboratory buildings. This session provided information and examples of a systematic, risk-based, demand-driven approach to managing ventilation systems.
Smart Labs Accelerator Partner Meet-Up 2018 Better Buildings Summit
Participants in this meet-up reviewed the current draft of the Smart Labs Program roadmap and the current roadmap for Smart Labs partners.

Reports

This report summarizes the results of a DOE Better Buildings Alliance field demonstration to show the energy savings possible with high-efficiency equipment.
This document provides highlights from Better Buildings Alliance members that have optimized minimum ACR to reduce energy use while maintaining or improving safety – especially cases where the ACR has been reduced below 6 ACH1.

Showcase Projects

Alleghany College renovated its Richard J. Cook Center for Environmental Science as part of the College's greater efforts to pursue building efficiency and institutional sustainability across campus. Building upgrades including LED lighting, CO2 monitoring and other improvements are expected to deliver 16% in annual energy savings.
As part of a comprehensive energy reduction initiative, the Luna I Mishoe Science Center – South was selected for a spectrum of upgrades expected to reduce energy use in the building by 35% annually, with annual cost savings estimated at $68,000.
Kentucky Community and Technical College System's energy efficiency upgrades to its Bluegrass Community and Technical College include the installation of high efficiency chillers, T-8 lights, and fans have helped them reach 49% annual energy savings.
UC Irvine's Smart Labs Initiative has worked to make already energy-efficient buildings even more efficient, and utilizes a process that works on existing labs and new construction. Participating laboratories have seen 51% annual energy savings.
The University of Utah's 52,000-square foot Dumke Health Professions Education Building underwent comprehensive improvements to its HVAC system, with new high efficiency boilers and a DDC system installed. The project realized 41% annual energy savings and $57,000 annual cost savings.
The HPAC is home to Chesapeake College’s flagship health programs in nursing, radiologic science, emergency medical services, physical therapy, and surgical technology. A solar installation and LED and HVAC upgrades saved this facility 51% in energy use.
The South Campus of the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) is one of four campuses located throughout Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Upgrades to this large energy user saw an energy savings of 37% and a cost savings of $184,000.
University of Utah performed HVAC and fume hood mechanical upgrades, combined with new sensor and control technologies to deliver an expected 44% energy savings and $456,000 in cost savings.
UC Berkeley: Jacobs Hall Showcase Project
Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation houses classroom, office, studio, lab, and mechanical workshop space for UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering. The building is designed to exceed sustainability targets by using 90% less energy than the national median for university buildings.
3M achieved a 12% reduction in energy usage, saving $400,000 annually, after converting the lab space ventilation system to variable air volume at one of its main laboratory buildings at 3M Center—the company’s corporate headquarters and primary research and development site in Maplewood, MN.

Specification

This energy only specification provides a description of required performance characteristics resulting in increased energy savings for ULTs in laboratories.

Video

Review of UC Irvine's Smart Labs program, illustrating upgrades made to the Natural Sciences II facility.

Webinar

Using lessons learned and experts in the field, this webinar helped advise how to set up your site for creating a Smart Labs Program. Prioritizing energy efficiency in labs can help organizations quickly meet their energy-saving goals.

Sector Priorities

Partners

A-Z

Argonne National Laboratory
Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
Colorado School of Mines
Emory University
GSA-FDA Bothell Laboratory
International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL)
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
Los Alamos National Laboratory
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
UCI Medical Center
University of Colorado
University of Illinois Chicago
University of Minnesota
University of New Hampshire
USDA Agricultural Research Service
Wesleyan University

Location

California

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
UCI Medical Center

Colorado

Colorado School of Mines
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
University of Colorado

Connecticut

Wesleyan University

Georgia

Emory University

Illinois

Argonne National Laboratory
University of Illinois Chicago

Minnesota

University of Minnesota

New Hampshire

University of New Hampshire

New Mexico

Los Alamos National Laboratory

North Dakota

USDA Agricultural Research Service

Pennsylvania

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)

Virginia

International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL)

Washington

GSA-FDA Bothell Laboratory
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory