Laboratory Benchmarking Working Group

Lead: Alison Farmer

Group Purpose

The Laboratory Benchmarking Working Group was formed in September 2014 to evaluate the current state of energy benchmarking for labs, and to investigate (then implement) useful enhancements or supplements to the available tools. The group's efforts will focus on projects with strong business use cases which benefit a significant segment of the community of lab owners, consultants, and researchers.

Working Group Projects

  • Since its launch in 2002, the Labs21 Benchmarking Tool has compiled user-submitted data to create the largest known database of U.S. lab energy usage (covering 5 to 10 percent of the total U.S. lab facility square footage). The working group is investigating ways to enhance the value of the tool for designers, facility owners, and others. The group conducted a survey to gather information from the I2SL network on the community's benchmarking needs and desires. Survey results were presented at the 2015 I2SL Annual Conference.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) is supporting initial development of a new portal for the lab benchmarking tool through Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). The I2SL team (I2SL and kW Engineering) drafted a business plan to financially support the tool in the future, which LBNL submitted to DOE, and kW is proceeding with software development to release the first phase of the tool in early 2019. In the meantime, the Working Group will be looking for volunteers to beta test the new tool before it goes live.
  • On October 9, 2018, the Benchmarking Working Group held a conference call to review design and mockups for the new lab benchmarking tool. Alison Farmer, kW Engineering, and Paul Mathew, LBNL, made a presentation on the benchmarking tool at the I2SL Annual Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, in October 2018. Suggestions for names can be submitted to until December 14, 2018. The new access portal is planned for release in February.
  • I2SL thanks Siemens for sponsoring the benchmarking session at the 2018 I2SL conference! The Working Group is interested in finding additional sponsors to help sustain, grow, and promote the new tool. Email if interested in sponsoring.

Get Involved

The group consists of experts and enthusiasts in energy benchmarking for labs. Members are encouraged to contribute their expertise, energy, and ideas. The main group currently holds monthly conference calls; smaller subgroups are created for specific tasks and may hold more frequent calls or meetings as needed. To get involved, please contact Alison Farmer.

Working Group Activities


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