Last week Amanda and I attended the I2SL (International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories) conference in Raleigh, NC. There were a broad range of individuals in attendance, including:
The sessions covered a broad range of topics to reduce energy and water consumption, and waste generation. Sessions addressed changing lab culture to remind staff to close hood sashes and recycle products and participating in programs like the Freezer Challenge. Individuals on the procurement side spoke of incentivizing sustainable purchases and using the ACT label. HVAC systems are the largest single source of lab energy consumption, so sessions addressed tightening air change rates, reducing stack velocity, providing energy recovery, and various forms of commissioning.
Harvard University is investigating air change rates based on the type of science conducted. They’ve been metering inhalation of chemicals in various processes. They expect to produce a white paper once the testing is complete. Initial results are showing that standard practice may be much higher than is actually required for lab safety.