In-House Energy Management & Sustainability

LBNL energy managers have worked with LBNL researchers for several decades on improving energy efficiency in our own high-tech facilities.

Molecular Foundry

The Foundry is a state-of-the-art 6-story, 94,500 square-foot, $67 million (plus $18 million for research equipment) User Facility for Nanoscale Materials, dedicated to supporting research in nanoscience by researchers from institutions around the world. The facility was completed in 2006 and received LEED Gold rating.

From an energy- and water-management standpoint, this is a remarkable project in that it embodies best practices in the three major “high-tech” facility types, specifically wet and dry laboratories, a cleanroom, and a data center. Each of these spaces is highly resource-intensive and poses greater sustainability challenges than ordinary spaces, and it is rare to find all three facility types under one roof. This project is the most comprehensive “Green” building constructed in LBNL’s site’s 75-year history and the first to achieve a U.S. Green Building Council “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED) certification (Gold). The facility produces 85% fewer greenhouse-gas emissions than a conventional facility meeting the ASHRAE 90.1 energy standards. Thanks to right-sizing of the mechanical systems, all of this was achieved at no net cost compared to typical practice. This flagship project applied an integrated whole-building approach to energy and water efficiency, along with a host of other sustainable practices in siting, construction, operation, and maintenance. This included aggressive goals set from project inception, e.g., selection of team members and contractor based on expertise and prior experience. The project was designed and executed to be eligible for a LEED Silver rating, with no net increase in construction cost compared to typical practice. Moreover, 92% of the building’s electricity is provided by purchased renewable power based on wind and geothermal sources.

Sustainable Berkeley Lab

The Berkeley Lab strives to extend its leadership in sustainability-related research to the sustainability of its operations. Through continuous improvement, the Lab's sustainability initiatives seek to reduce environmental footprint, cultivate a living lab, and institutionalize sustainability.