Laboratory owners and operators rarely know how their building operating costs compare to similar facilities. Benchmarks provide this measure of performance, helping personnel to identify potential cost-saving opportunities.
Although a laboratory-type facility includes many sub-system designs, e.g., the heating system, we believe that a comprehensive design approach should view the entire building as the essential "system."
Through the Smart Labs Accelerator, launched in 2016, U.S. Department of Energy calls on and provides support to universities, federal agencies, national laboratories, hospitals, and corporations to advance strategies that rapidly improve energy efficiency in laboratory buildings.
Laboratory fume hoods typically consume 3- to 4- times as much energy as a typical home, and drive the sizing of HVAC systems in labs. Keeping fume hoods closed, when not in use, is an easy way to save energy.
Whether a large medical campus, a suburban clinical campus, or a local medical center, hospitals are extremely energy intensive, due to the large HVAC loads, strict ventilation requirements, and large quantity of plug loads.
LBNL energy managers and researchers have worked together for several decades on improving energy efficiency in our own high-tech facilities.
Toolkits and calculators are available to support the implementation of best practices. Tools cover areas such as design intent, benchmarking, and fume hoods.
Trainings previously provided through the Labs 21 initiative are offered by the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL). Additional material is provided through the Better Buildings Alliance (BBA) and the UC Irvine Smart Labs Initiative.