Characterizing the Laboratory Market:
Laboratories are estimated to be 3-5 times more energy intensive than typical office buildings and offer significant opportunities for energy use reductions. Although energy intensity varies widely, laboratories are generally energy intensive due to ventilation requirements, the research instruments used, and other health and safety concerns. Because the requirements of laboratory facilities differ so dramatically from those of other buildings, a clear need exists for an initiative exclusively targeting these facilities. The building stock of laboratories in the United States span different economic sectors, include governmental and academic institution, and are often defined differently by different groups. Information on laboratory buildings is often limited to a small subsection of the total building stock making aggregate estimates of the total U.S. laboratories and their energy use challenging. Previous estimates of U.S. laboratory space vary widely owing to differences in how laboratories are defined and categorized. A 2006 report on fume hoods provided an estimate of 150,000 laboratories populating the U.S. based in part on interviews of industry experts, however, a 2009 analysis of the 2003 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) generated an estimate of only 9,000 laboratory buildings. This report draws on multiple data sources that have been evaluated to construct an understanding of U.S. laboratories across different sizes and markets segments. This 2016 analysis is an update to draft reports released in October and December 2016.