Laboratory Efficiency

Maximizing efficiency, balancing air quality and safety

Laboratories typically use the most energy on campus. They are also critical spaces with regard to air quality, as well as the highly valuable research they enable. GreenerU looks at all of it.


GreenerU ties together extensive experience working in laboratory environments with our proven approach to occupant engagement and behavior change. These components are balanced with the expertise of an environmental health and safety expert, who determines acceptable ventilation ranges in laboratory environments.

A three-pronged approach
  1. Lab safety evaluation. Before making any energy-efficiency adjustments, GreenerU contracts a lab safety specialist to perform a professional air quality assessment.
  2. Stakeholder engagement. GreenerU works closely with lab users, facilities managers, and other stakeholders to understand how the needs and functions of laboratories can intersect with energy-saving opportunities.
  3. Equipment optimization. Fine-tuning, replacing, or recalibrating laboratory ventilation equipment is the third component of GreenerU’s work with labs.

Campuses often see energy reductions of 20% or more from relatively small investments in laboratory efficiency.

A case study

At Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the Gateway Life Sciences & Bioengineering Center (Gateway Labs), researchers engage in work that seeks to address complex problems and compelling questions that impact “local-to-global” communities. Gateway Labs was an energy-intensive facility, however, before WPI partnered with GreenerU. The project scope included:

Lab safety evaluation:
  • working with WPI’s Environmental Health & Safety personnel to re-engineer minimum acceptable ventilation rates, based on specific hazards rebalancing fume-hood flows
Stakeholder engagement:
  • performing walking focus groups to learn how occupants interact with building features conducting informational meetings with stakeholders implementing a Shut the Sash campaign with customized visual cues
Equipment optimization:
  • recommissioning HVAC controls
  • converting fume hoods to variable air volume (VAV), including new sash position sensors and controls
  • recommissioning a glycol heat recovery system
  • optimizing the building automation system
  • repairing or replacing failed valve and damper actuators
  • installing advanced LED lighting and controls
  • installing two packaged cogeneration units

GreenerU’s work at Gateway Labs—financed in part through utility incentives—has resulted in reduced energy use by 13,600 MMBtu over 125,000 square feet. This represented a more than 30% energy use reduction and $177,000 in annual energy savings.

GreenerU’s laboratory efficiency by the numbers
  • 15 laboratory buildings with seven clients
  • $1.1 million in utility incentives
  • 3,100 MTCO2e in annual avoided greenhouse gas emission
  • 35,000 MMBtu in annual energy savings
  • $875,000 in total annual energy savings
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Contact us to get started on increasing your laboratories’ efficiency today.

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