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Breakfast Sessions

A number of provocative Breakfast Sessions were offered in conjunction with this year's conference. On Wednesday, October 18 and Thursday, October 19, these facilitated meetings gave attendees the opportunity to share ideas on the unique challenges faced by some of today's laboratory-intensive industries.

This year's breakfast session topics included:

Wednesday, October 18:

Thursday, October 19:

Federal Roundtable: Labs21 and Federal Energy Reduction Requirements
Led by: Dan Amon, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Will Lintner, U.S. Department of Energy

Breakfast Session Handout (4 pp., 157 KB)

Breakfast Session Summary (4 pp., 757 KB)

FY 2006 marks the first year that federal agencies are responsible for reporting against new, more aggressive annual energy reduction goals required by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct)—the first comprehensive energy legislation since 1992. Additional provisions in EPAct are aimed at helping federal agencies reduce energy consumption through advanced metering, procurement of energy efficient products, energy-efficient building design, and renewable energy purchases.

In addition to meeting the numerous requirements mandated by EPAct, federal agencies are also required to report progress in energy reductions to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) via the OMB Energy Management Scorecard.

During this session, participants:

  • Reviewed key EPAct requirements and their ramifications on the federal sector.
  • Discussed important actions completed throughout 2006 related to EPAct and the OMB Energy Management Scorecard.
  • Shared examples of federal approaches used to meet the numerous challenges of EPAct.
  • Talked about anticipated milestones in 2007 that will help your agency prepare for next year's energy reduction requirements.
  • Highlighted how Labs21 can help your agency successfully achieve its energy reduction requirements through benchmarking tools and metrics, opportunities for training, forums for information sharing, federal success stories and best practices, and a network of experienced leaders.
  • Provided an open forum for discussing the challenges and opportunities your agency faces in meeting the numerous requirements of both EPAct and the OMB energy management scorecards.

Laboratory Equipment Efficiency
Led by: Paul Mathew, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Laboratory equipment energy use constitutes from 10 to as much as 50 percent of the total energy use in a lab (not including associated cooling energy use). However, there has been scant attention paid to this as an area for efficiency improvements. The goal of this informal session is to develop a clearer understanding of lab equipment energy use and efficiency opportunities, and explore potential avenues to encourage market transformation through purchasing specifications that include efficiency criteria.

The open discussion in this session covered:

  • Experiences with procuring efficient equipment
  • Strategies for rating and specifying lab equipment efficiency, including ENERGY STAR®
  • Challenges and opportunities to develop efficient lab equipment, from the manufacturers' perspective
  • A list of priority equipment types


Brainstorming Alternative Designs for Building Cost-Effective, Green Campus Laboratories
Led by: Wendell Brase and Bill Cowdell, University of California, Irvine

Laboratory buildings are among college campus' largest energy consumers, yet they also represent a considerable opportunity for energy and water savings. In order to maximize efficiency, while simultaneously factoring in design and construction costs, we need to challenge the status quo and re-evaluate practices and assumptions that have been considered best practices for years or decades.

Participants in this session were encouraged to think outside the box and rethink the way we design campus laboratories for both teaching and research purposes. An audience-wide brainstorm yielded a plethera of innovative ideas, followed by a stimulating discussion centered around the practicality of these ideas.

Visit the University of California, Irvine's websiteor read "Building Greener Buildings With No Net Infusion of Funds," to learn more about this topic.


Certification for Green Labs—EPC, LEED-NC, Green Globes, etc.
Led by: Paul Mathew, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Kath Williams, International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories

For the laboratory community, there has been an increased demand for high performance, low-energy laboratories. However, the challenge of meeting the aggressive energy efficiency and sustainability goals for these specialized facilities can be difficult. Due to this growing need for a "LEED® for Labs" certification system, the LEED Application Guide for Laboratories (LEED-AGL) is being developed.

This session allowed attendees to:

  • Explore the current status of the LEED Application Guide for Labs (LEED-AGL)
  • Learn about successes and challenges of using LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations (LEED-NC) for Laboratories
  • Discuss certification options for LEED and Labs21 Environmental Performance Criteria (EPC)


Scientists as Creative Collaborators: Working Styles and Environments in Multi-disciplinary Labs
Led by: Margaret Alrutz, Steelcase, Inc.

Breakfast Session Summary (2 pp., 707 KB)

Designing a sustainable laboratory requires thought and planning on a number of issues, from meeting the safety requirements of the laboratory type to making the facility as environmentally sound as possible without sacrificing the research being conducted. Where in these design plans do the needs of the user—the scientists conducting the research—come in?

This breakfast session presented results from a survey coordinated by Steelcase, Inc. on laboratory usability from the user perspective. Participants discussed laboratory design trends and how they can be reworked to address the needs of the user, while asking questions such as:

  • What architectural trends are we seeing in solving for departmental collaboration?
  • What interior design trends are we seeing in solving for individual and small group generative sessions?
  • How can we rethink the icon of the lab bench for the creative side of science?
  • How can we rethink office and conference rooms for the work of science?


Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) for Laboratories
Led by: Dan Amon, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Phil Wirdzek, International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories

During this session, participants delved into various aspects of contracting and implementing an energy savings performance contract in a laboratory setting. The open discussion included lab-specific energy conservation measures (ECMs), modifying ESPCs for labs, and whether ESPCs are the best funding mechanism for labs.


The Cycle of Life: The Art & Science of Water Management
Led by: Bob Shemwell, Overland Partners Architects

Participants in this session were introduced to innovative uses of hydrological systems in building design, highlighting the character of water to create beautiful environments true to place. Attendees were given information on cutting-edge water technologies (components and methods) and their applications, and engaged in discussion on the following:

  • What is the history of paradigms of water management?
  • How does the paradigm of systems approach in water management affect the value system towards water?
  • How do architects and communities interpret water as a life giving entity and express its inherent beauty through various hydrological systems in our architectural compositions?


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