2022 I2SL Sustainable Laboratories
Awards Program

The mission of I2SL is to encourage resource efficiency and environmental sustainability in the planning, design, engineering, operation, and use of laboratories and related high-tech facilities. To keep pace with progress being made for sustainability in laboratory environments and scientific research, the I2SL Sustainable Laboratories Awards Program recognizes outstanding people, projects, and programs exhibiting innovative and exemplary achievements in sustainable laboratories. There are three distinct categories of recognition:

The competition recognizes cutting-edge sustainable laboratory innovation and best practices by leveraging I2SLís reputation as the leading organization for sustainable, safe, and efficient laboratories. An I2SL Sustainable Laboratories Award provides global recognition and credibility to awardees. Award winners are publicized internationally through the I2SL Annual Conference, I2SL chapters, the I2SL website, webinars, and I2SLís communications and social media channels.

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slideshow of 2022 award winners

Phil Wirdzek Leadership Award

Phil Wirdzek Leadership Award: Dan Doyle, Grumman/Butkus Associates, has been heavily involved with I2SL for nearly two decades. He served on I2SLís board for 15 years and was the treasurer and chief financial officer for nine of those years. He has championed many important educational efforts within I2SL, including updating a series of best practices guides revamping the awards program. He also helped found the Great Lakes Chapter (formerly the Windy City Chapter), and has been instrumental in helping other chapters get off the ground.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Otto Van Geet, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), started working with Phil to improve energy efficiency in federal labs even before Labs21 was founded. His work at NREL helped form the basis for many conferences, best practice guides, workshops, and other educational efforts. His technical assistance helped many agencies, including EPA and DOE, become more energy-efficient. And his mentoring of other lab sustainability professionals has helped build a community of people who are passionate about improving lab performance.

Emerging Leaders Award: Christine Alencar, University of Virginia, helped lay the foundations for the universityís Green Labs program, then grow their Smart Labs program, and recently launched a more encompassing Sustainable Labs program. She has had an impressive career trajectory from scientist to green labs advocate to a leader.

Emerging Leaders Award: Christina Greever, My Green Lab, and Star Scott, University of Georgia, have worked to raise awareness about the importance of diversity, equity, justice, and social sustainability in the lab community. They first spoke on this topic in 2018 with a presentation exploring the connection between equity and the global research enterprise. In subsequent years, their research has continued to include laboratory supply chains and waste streams, as well as spatial justice considerations for the built environment. They continue to amplify these topics throughout I2SL, challenging the lab community to rethink the need for equity in our daily operations, processes and procedures.

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Sustainable Laboratory Award for Buildings or Projects

New Construction

Sustainable Laboratory Award: The Universities at Shady Grove Biomedical Sciences & Engineering Education Facility, submitted by Cooper Carry, incorporated many impressive features, including sustainable building materials, waste diversion, air quality management, natural ventilation, and daylighting, resulting in a very low energy use intensity.

Sustainable Laboratory Award: The Merck Research Laboratory in South San Francisco, submitted by Jacobs, showcases an integrated design that focuses on indoor air quality and waste reduction, and they maintain building performance with a sustainability dashboard.

Excellence in Decarbonization: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Integrative Genomics Building

Excellence in Climate Resiliency: Webster University, Interdisciplinary Science Building

Excellence in Waste Reduction, Recycling, and Diversion: Wanhua Global Research Center


Excellence in Energy Efficiency: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champgain Materials Research Laboratory Renovation

Excellence in Energy and Water Efficiency: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign-Holonyak Micro & Nanotechnology Lab Renovation

Adaptive Reuse

Excellence in Adaptive Resuse: o2h co-work labs

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Lab Sustainability Award for Programs or Initiatives

Lab Sustainability Award: The University of Alabama at Birmingham piloted a green labs program across the university and implemented a recycling initiative for pipette tip boxes and other hard-to-recycle items to take their green labs and freezer efficiency efforts even further.

Lab Sustainability Award: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Chemistry Undergrad Teaching Lab undertook a fume hood hibernation program in that facility that saved a significant amount of energy, and it serves a model for other labs on campus.

Honorable Mention Award for Innovation and Inspiration: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Honorable Mention Award for Leadership in Energy and Emissions Reduction: University of Chicago

Honorable Mention Award for Communications and Education of Green Labs Strategies: Green Labs Initiative and Outreach at National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health

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