The Evolution of the Labs21 Benchmarking Tool

Alison Farmer, kW Engineering

The Labs21 Benchmarking Tool has been our industry's gold standard for lab benchmarking since its release in 2002. The crowdsourced database at its heart now contains 639 lab facilities. Over the past two years, the I2SL Benchmarking Working Group has worked in collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley National Lab staff to ensure that the Labs21 Tool continues to receive the use and attention that it deserves. Most recently, the group has implemented upgrades to the Tool's user interface and online resources in response to industry feedback and a study of the most common mistakes made by tool users. The upgrades will be unveiled during this portion of the Lab Benchmarking Symposium. The presentation will also include tips on using the Tool and the latest stats on the buildings in the public database.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe how to access the latest lab data from the Labs21 peer group database
  • Identify how to avoid the most common mistakes made by tool users
  • Master the newly added features of the Labs21 benchmarking tool
  • Demonstrate the benefits of the I2SL/LBNL collaborative efforts on lab benchmarking


Alison Farmer is a physicist with a deep dedication to energy efficiency in buildings and extensive experience as an energy efficiency consultant for lab facilities. Alison leads kW Engineering's laboratory work, which spans strategic planning, energy audits, controls retrofit design, commissioning, energy analysis, M&V, and research into the latest technologies for labs. She has chaired the I2SL Lab Benchmarking Working Group since its inception in 2014. Alison holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in physics from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in astrophysics from Caltech.


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