Better Buildings Initiative Expanding to Increase U.S. Laboratories Efficiency

Sept. 28, 2016

A typical laboratory uses nearly four times as much energy as the average commercial building. 

The U.S. Department of Energy is launching the Better Buildings Smart Labs Accelerator to advance energy efficiency in laboratory buildings owned and operated by universities, corporations, national laboratories, hospitals and federal agencies.

The effort, as part of the Obama Administration’s effort to cut energy waste in the nation’s buildings and facilities, will pursue ambitious energy-saving targets and strategies to address key obstacles to improving energy efficiency.

A typical laboratory uses nearly four times as much energy as the average commercial building and can account for up to 70% of a given campus' energy footprint. If laboratory buildings improved their energy efficiency by 20%, annual energy and cost savings could reach an estimated 40 trillion British Thermal Units or $1 billion.

"Working together, Better Buildings Smart Labs Accelerator partners will create road maps that they and organizations across the country can use to dramatically improve the energy efficiency of their labs and reduce costs," says Kathleen Hogan, U.S. Department of Energy, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency. "Low-cost operational changes, more capital-intensive technological upgrades, and robust strategic energy management systems are all approaches that will be explored and developed through this Accelerator."

The following organizations announced they are joining the Smart Labs Accelerator, committing to improve the efficiency of their laboratories by 20% in 10 years, with 5% savings coming within three years through no- and low-cost measures:

  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of Colorado

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Buildings, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Building Better Schools

Download this digital resource to better understand the challenges and opportunities in designing and operating educational facilities for safety, sustainability, and performance...

Tips to Keep Facility Management on Track

How do you plan to fill the knowledge gap as seasoned facility managers retire or leave for new opportunities? Learn about the latest strategies including FM tech innovations ...

The Beauty & Benefits of Biophilic Design in the Built Environment

Biophilic design is a hot trend in design, but what is it and how can building professionals incorporate these strategies for the benefits of occupants? This eHandbook offers ...

The Benefits of Migrating from Analog to DMR Two-Way Radios

Are you still using analog two-way radios? Download this white paper and discover the simple and cost-effective migration path to digital DMR radios that deliver improved audio...