Sharing Equipment and Space Saves Money and Benefits Science: An In-Depth Case Study of the Biochemistry Cell Culture Facility at the University of Colorado Boulder

Christina Greever, University of Colorado Boulder

CU Green Labs at the University of Colorado Boulder has spent the last year writing a case study to quantitatively show the benefits of our Biochemistry Division's shared cell culture facility to our campus. It is a prime example of how sharing equipment and research space between many labs is beneficial in numerous ways. Come to this presentation for a detailed overview of our case study and its findings. Not only do the scientists using the Biochemistry Cell Culture Facility (BCCF) benefit directly in monetary savings each year and valuable research time saved due to the presence of a Facility Manager, but the university also realizes ongoing savings through reduced lab space maintenance costs, reduced plug loads in a shared facility, and lower building ventilation costs. We will examine the upfront and ongoing savings made possible if a campus similar to CU Boulder decided to build a shared facility, and discuss the qualitative benefits of the BCCF. All of this taken together makes an excellent case for shared cell culture facilities, and shared research facilities in general. Our hope is that the case study can be a resource to you at your home institution as a tangible demonstration of the combined value of pooled resources for the benefit of science.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the financial savings and wide variety of benefits a shared facility or core provides to an institution, both to scientists directly and to the university as a whole.
  • Identify the driving factors to the establishment of the Biochemistry Cell Culture Facility in the early 1990s at CU Boulder and how similar conditions can be encouraged at another institution.
  • Know the key characteristics of the Biochemistry Cell Culture Facility that were examined for this case study and basic methods for doing a similar assessment at another institution.
  • Recognize the many benefits a Facility Manager brings to a shared equipment facility.


Christina is the Program Assistant and Outreach Coordinator for CU Green Labs at the University of Colorado Boulder. Since graduating with her Bachelor's degree in biology from Lewis & Clark College in 2011 she has conducted research at OHSU and worked as a research compliance coordinator before beginning her current position with CU Green Labs in September 2015. Her background and the importance of resource conservation in labs has led her to the growing field of lab sustainability.


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