Labs21 Environmental Performance Criteria: Toward "LEED (trademark) for Labs"
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Labs21 Environmental Performance Criteria: Toward "LEED (trademark) for Labs"

  • Author(s): Mathew, Paul
  • Sartor, Dale
  • Lintner, William
  • Wirdzek, Phil
  • et al.

Laboratory facilities present a unique challenge for energy efficient and sustainable design, with their inherent complexity of systems, health and safety requirements, long-term flexibility and adaptability needs, energy use intensity, and environmental impacts. The typical laboratory is about three to five times as energy intensive as a typical office building and costs about three times as much per unit area. In order to help laboratory stakeholders assess the environmental performance of their laboratories, the Labs21 program, sponsored by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy, is developing the Environmental Performance Criteria (EPC), a point-based rating system that builds on the LEED(TM) rating system. Currently, LEED(TM) is the primary tool used to rate the sustainability of commercial buildings. However, it lacks some attributes essential to encouraging the application of sustainable design principles to laboratory buildings. Accordingly, the EPC has additions and modifications to the prerequisites and credits in each of the six sections of LEED(TM). It is being developed in a consensus-based approach by a diverse group of architects, engineers, consulting experts, health & safety personnel and facilities personnel. This report describes the EPC version 2.0, highlighting the underlying technical issues, and describes implications for the development of a LEED version for Laboratories.

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