Go Beyond Awards

2014 Go Beyond Awards

A unique awards program honoring organizations, individuals, products, and projects that are advancing sustainable, high-performance facilities.

2014 I2SL Annual Conference Go Beyond Award Winners

I2SL is pleased to acknowledge the winners of the 2014 Go Beyond Awards. Go Beyond Award winners show their commitment to excellence in sustainability in laboratory and other high-technology facility projects by going beyond the facility itself to consider shared resources, infrastructure and services, and neighboring communities, and contribute to increased use of energy-efficient and environmentally-sustainable designs, systems, and products. This year's award winners also included the first-ever Building Information Modeling (BIM) award, co-sponsored by the buildingSMART alliance.

The 2014 Go Beyond Awards were presented during the 2014 I2SL Annual Conference Opening Plenary Session on Monday, September 22. The awards recognized the outstanding work done by the following winners:

Individual Award

Terrance Alexander, Henry Baier, Andrew Berki, and Dr. Sudhakar Reddy; University of Michigan Sustainable Laboratory Certification Program

Go Beyond Awards
Dr. Sudhakar Reddy (left) accepts the Individual Award for his work with the University of Michigan Sustainable Laboratory Certification Program.

Terrance Alexander, Henry Baier, Andrew Berki, and Dr. Sudhakar Reddy from the University of Michigan Office of Campus Sustainability spearheaded the University's Sustainable Laboratory Certification Program. This innovative program aims to establish standardized operations in the University's high-tech facilities and teaching and research laboratories in order to achieve greater sustainability and ensure the health and safety of the University community. To this end, the team applied green chemistry, pollution prevention, and waste minimization principles to their laboratories, resulting in decreased energy consumption and use and generation of hazardous materials; increased material reuse and recycling; and improved safety for students, faculty, and staff.

The team spurred several successful initiatives, including:

  • Initiating a "Shut the Sash" campaign that decreased the University's greenhouse gas emissions by 26 million pounds and saved the University $2.2 million a year on energy bills.
  • Leading the University to install local vacuum systems. Operating with compressed air, these systems eliminated 200 water aspirators in laboratories and saved 25 million gallons of water.
  • Removing 8,000 mercury thermometers and several hundred pounds of elemental mercury from the campus, which significantly decreased mercury-related spills. Additionally, helped ensure that mercury and mercury compounds are no longer allowed in the curriculum for chemistry teaching laboratories.

Already nearly 100 laboratories across the campus have taken part in the program. Read more about the Office of Campus Sustainability's program. 


Sudhakar Reddy; Andrew Berki; Terrance Alexander; Henry Baier; University of Michigan

James Dykes, Public Works and Government Services Canada

Kathy Ramirez-Aguilar, University of Colorado at Boulder

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User Product Award

Global Cooling, Inc.'s Stirling Ultracold Model SU78OUE -80°C Upright Ultra-Low Freezer

Go Beyond Awards
Neill Lane (center right) accepts the user product award on behalf of Stirling Ultracold.

Released in May 2014, the Stirling Ultracold SU780UE is an ultra-low-temperature freezer that consumes less than half the energy of similar products on the market. While other ultra-low freezers use compressor systems, the Stirling freezer employs an electrically driven free-piston Stirling engine and a thermosiphon. The engine works to cool by compressing and then expanding helium gas in separate areas. In addition, the freezer uses ethane, a natural refrigerant, instead of environmentally damaging hydrofluorocarbons, as the thermosiphon working fluid.

In May 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released a preliminary study of ultra-low temperature freezer energy use that indicated that the Stirling freezer consumed 66 percent less energy than the average ultra-low freezer. Read more about the Stirling Ultracold SU780UE.

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Project Award

Energy Innovation Laboratory

Go Beyond Awards
Ernest Fossum (center right) receives the Project Award for the Energy Innovation Laboratory.

Certified LEED® Platinum in October 2013, the Energy Innovation Laboratory (EIL) at DOE's Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in Idaho Falls is a 148,000 square foot facility with more than 127 flexible laboratory modules. EIL is home to researchers working in the areas of clean energy, nuclear energy, and environmental science and technology. The facility's reconfigurable spaces are meant to efficiently accommodate changes in research projects, as well as any new project requirements. Beyond laboratory space, EIL also offers meeting space for visitors and the public.

The energy-efficient design of EIL, which features high-performance lighting systems and controls, extensive daylighting, significant heat recovery, and high-efficiency laboratory fume hoods, led to a 49 percent reduction in energy use compared to a conventionally designed laboratory.

As the first LEED Platinum laboratory facility in Idaho, EIL incorporated a number of other sustainable design features. In addition to the building's low-flow water features, the facility's design also eliminated all stormwater runoff by leading rainwater into the ground. EIL was constructed using at least 34 percent recycled materials, and 97 percent of the construction waste was reused, recycled, or repurposed. Read more about EIL.

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Building Information Modeling (BIM) for Laboratory Operations and Maintenance Award

EcoDomus, Inc.

For the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's (HHMI's) Janelia Farm Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia, EcoDomus, Inc. created as-built BIM for lifecycle operations and maintenance (O&M) of the 500,000 square foot medical research laboratory. This included collecting the Construction-Operations Building information exchange (COBie) data for the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems in the EcoDomus PM software and providing a simple three-dimensional BIM interface for the O&M team.

The BIM interface enabled O&M staff to locate shut-off valves for the facility's chilled and condensed water systems using EcoDomus Mobile software. Additionally, all relevant documents were attached to the corresponding BIM objects or systems. The interface allows O&M staff to understand  how one asset or system could impact other assets or systems of the laboratory.

The current stage of the project includes integration of BIM with the Building Automation System (BAS) from Siemens, and integration with the Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) from Accruent. The BAS/BIM integration will allow for better continuous commissioning of the facility. I2SL's BIM for O&M survey indicated that BIM application for energy improvements and continuous commissioning is the top focus for the survey responders' organizations.

EcoDomus, Inc.'s use of multiple open standards with an end user focus for HHMI's facility made for a successful and effective BIM project. Read more about EcoDomus, Inc. and their products.


EcoDomus, Inc.

Energy Systems Integration Facility

Gilbane Building Company

University of Colorado Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building

This award was sponsored by:


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