Decarbonization of Existing Lab Spaces: Part 2

Otto Van Geet, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Decarbonization: The current administration has set forth aggressive goals towards achieving a net-zero emissions building portfolio. Companies and government entities alike are prioritizing these efforts with implementation plans, but struggle with defining technically sound implementation pathways. Navigating policy, technical, and end-user challenges regarding carbon emissions presents a significant challenge on any campus, especially for energy-intensive, mission-critical facilities, such as research laboratories. The effort requires an all-hands-on-deck approach to address the many challenges decarbonization presents. What challenges are you facing in your laboratory facilities? What successes have you had?

Bring your questions, bring your answers, bring your ideas! In this collaborative working session, we will unpack the questions of implementing decarbonization strategies. We will discuss best practices around addressing both the building operational and the end-user emissions reduction. Speakers will share strategies for coordinating efforts and building a culture of sustainability to integrate decarbonization into operational best practices. Attendees will be inspired and started on the path towards decarbonizing the laboratory industry.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the complexity of the challenges that laboratories face in regard to decarbonization;
  • Identify strategies and best practices for implementing strategies that reduce carbon emissions of mission-critical research facilities;
  • Develop a culture of sustainability to engage occupants in integrating decarbonization into operational best practices; and
  • Maintain a network of professionals and facility owners who are tackling similar challenges in their own laboratory facilities and campuses.


Otto Van Geet is a Principal Engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Van Geet has been involved in the design, construction, and operation of energy-efficient research facilities such as laboratories and data centers, office and general use facilities, and low-energy-use campus and community design. Van Geet was a founding member of the Labs21 (Smart Labs) program.


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