Rating energy efficiency and sustainability in laboratories: Results and lessons from the Labs21 program
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Rating energy efficiency and sustainability in laboratories: Results and lessons from the Labs21 program

  • Author(s): Mathew, Paul
  • Sartor, Dale
  • van Geet, Otto
  • Reilly, Sue
  • et al.
Abstract

Laboratories are very energy intensive, with significant opportunities for improved efficiency. However, their inherent complexity and variety makes benchmarking of their energy and environmental performance a unique and challenging task. Furthermore, laboratories have a myriad of health and safety requirements that significantly affect energy use, adding complexity to their benchmarking. The Labs21 program, a joint program of the US EPA and US DOE, has developed two resources specifically for assessing laboratory energy and environmental performance: - An energy benchmarking tool which allows users to compare laboratories using a standard set of building and system level energy use metrics. - The Environmental Performance Criteria (EPC) a point-based rating system that builds on the LEED(TM) green building rating system, designed to score overall environmental performance. In this paper, for each of these tools we present the underlying methodology and results from their use. For the benchmarking tool, we contrast our approach, which includes a simulation model-based component, with those used for other building types. We also present selected results from data collection and analysis of about 40 private and public sector laboratory facilities. In the case of the EPC, we describe variations from the LEED standard, focusing on the energy credits. Finally, using laboratories as a case in point, we discuss lessons learned that can be applied to the development of similar tools for other building types that have complex requirements impacting energy and environmental performance.

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