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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.

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Other Resources

Case Study

Fume Hood Sash Stickers Increase Laboratory Safety and Efficiency at Minimal Cost 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 Sheet

Smart Labs Accelerator Results Fact Sheet

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

Fume Hood Sash Management Campaign Implementation Guide Guidance

This document describes how to implement a fume hood sash management campaign.

Laboratory Ventilation Flow Rates at Cornell Guidance

This presentation addresses laboratory ventilation flow rates. 

Ultra-low Temperature Freezer User Guide Guidance

This guide describes procedures to operate ULT freezers efficiently and to improve sample access.

Implementation Model

UC Irvine: Developing an Integrated Smart Lab Program 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%.

Presentation

Smart Labs Accelerator Partner Meet-Up 2018 Better Buildings Summit, Presentation

Participants in this meet-up reviewed the current draft of the Smart Labs Program roadmap and the current roadmap for Smart Labs partners.

Ventilation Management in Laboratories: Big Energy Savings and Improved Safety 2018 Better Buildings Summit, Presentation

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.

Report

Getting Below Six Air Changes Report

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.

Field Demonstration of High-Efficiency Ultra-Low-Temperature Laboratory Freezers Report

This report summarizes the results of a DOE Better Buildings Alliance field demonstration to show the energy savings possible with high-efficiency equipment.

Showcase Project

University of Utah: Dumke Health Professions Education Building Showcase Project

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.

3M: Laboratory Building 236 Ventilation Upgrade Showcase Project

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.

Chesapeake College: Health Professions and Athletics Center (HPAC) Showcase Project

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.

Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC): South Campus Energy Project Showcase Project

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: Eyring Chemistry and Biology Buildings Showcase Project

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.

Allegheny College: Richard J. Cook Center for Environmental Science Showcase Project

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.

Delaware State University: Luna I Mishoe Science Center – South Showcase Project

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: Bluegrass Community and Technical College Showcase Project

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: Smart Labs Initiative/Natural Sciences II Showcase Project

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.

Specification

Ultra-Low Temperature Freezers (ULF) Specification Specification

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

Video

Smart Labs Initiative Success Story Video

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

Partners

  • 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
  • Illinois

    Argonne National Laboratory
    University of Illinois Chicago

    Virginia

    International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL)

    Georgia

    Emory University

    California

    Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
    UCI Medical Center
    NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    Colorado

    National Renewable Energy Laboratory
    Colorado School of Mines
    University of Colorado

    New Mexico

    Los Alamos National Laboratory

    Minnesota

    University of Minnesota

    Pennsylvania

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

    Washington

    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
    GSA-FDA Bothell Laboratory

    New Hampshire

    University of New Hampshire

    Connecticut

    Wesleyan University

    North Dakota

    USDA Agricultural Research Service