1. Build a strong team to help collect and analyze data for benchmarking.
My first step in expanding the competition was to validate the savings from the current program. I needed to determine whether the fume hoods were still saving the amount of energy that the competition intended. After locating a number of new labs where "shut the sash" could potentially make an impact, I decided to compare fume hood management between the labs.
Between February and April 2015, I worked with Wendy Chen, a graduate student at Harvard Extension School to test the hypothesis that the Shut the Sash program was the optimal method in making fume hood operation more efficient. I collected building management system (BMS) data from several buildings, and utilizing the talents of the graduate student we compared the results. We also had to make some generalizations on fume hood operational costs. With the help of Siemens engineers and building managers, we determined that the "average fume hood," has a cost of $7.43 per CFM of exhaust per year. Obviously some fume hoods save more than others by closing the sashes, but for the sake of this study we normalized the operational cost.
Green chemistry is a solution oriented approach to lab safety with economic benefits. In today's green labs tip I would like to refer you to the OSHA Transitioning to Safer Chemicals Toolkit that highlights how efforts to substitute hazardous chemicals with green chemistry is the most effective way to promote laboratory safety.
Hundreds of open source 3D printer designs for lab equipment are available online that can reduce your lab set up costs in a sustainable way. These items include microscopes, micro pipettes, centrifuges, gel electrophoresis systems and many lab hacks!
Sustainable Stanford Cardinal Green Labs Program uses outlet timers because it can save up to 50% of equipment energy consumption. Learn how your lab can too!
Here is a green labs tip based on a new study, that will help you "turn out the lights" on energy waste and "open your window" to energy savings!
Learn how to implement $1,300 savings annually per laboratory fume hood, and what government agency provides financing for facilities implementing energy and water efficiency projects.
Using responsibly sourced and recycled paper towels in your laboratory is an easy way to contribute to sustainability.
Here is a list of green lab tips for energy efficient ULT freezer use...
Green Lab Tip: Dust with a coil brush then vacuum clean your lab freezer coils 2-3 times per year, to save energy & increase freezer longevity. It helps to have the right tool handy!