Laboratory Improvement Maturity Matrix

Allen Doyle
Jim Coogan, Siemens
Suzanne Belmont, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Operations in high performance laboratories can have system degradation and spiraling costs without integrated efforts between facilities, researchers, safety, design and capital planning, as well as energy managers, procurement, sustainability and recycling strategies. The Laboratory Improvement Maturity Matrix (LIMM) is a benchmarking tool to capture best practices by individual stakeholders and their connected efforts. It has questionnaires for six to eight stakeholders relating to progressively more sophisticated practices. 

There is some immediate feedback for the individual manager, but the real value comes from the stakeholders sitting at one table and comparing their successes and challenges, and where development is most needed. The tool provides overall scores, heat maps and graphs to guide management decisions. The output may be compared again after 1 or 2 years, and eventually scores may be anonymously compared to peer organizations.
Maturity models are management tools, already used in IT, risk management, procurement, and the retail sector and they fit I2SL goals for continuous improvement. This effort is led by I2SL volunteers expert in their fields.

This session features three members of the Smart Lab Accelerator: Maturity Matrix (SLAMM) development team for an interactive demonstration that was very popular in 2016. Brief explanations will then shift to a hands-on demonstration. This year we will focus on Ventilation Management.
For several years, an I2SL development team coordinated by Allen Doyle developed a process and content that identifies opportunities for improving energy and environmental performance of laboratories. The process is a self-assessment that allows stakeholders such as maintenance, safety, capital planning and researchers to better understand their interdependent roles, how to work in unison, and identify steps for improved performance and cost reductions while ensuring health and safety. The presentation will cover the history of development and describe the breadth of LIMM.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand maturity matrix structure and value to management.
  • Identify the stakeholders for laboratory performance infrastructure.
  • Identify five generic maturity levels for stakeholders.
  • Understand the value of a maturity matrix to the bottom-line and leadership buy-in.


After 20 years of ocean and soil science, the urgency of environmental degradation compelled Allen Doyle to leave the bench and work on conservation in in the research setting itself. He brings an occupant focus, and he is co-founder of LabRATS, organizer of 200+ member national network, and recipient of the 2017 Going Beyond Award. He has engaged in HVAC optimization through set point relaxation, control banding and solvent reductions. He works to reduce plug load, co-founded Freezer Challenge, as well as procurement strategic sourcing and design advocacy. He collaborates with campuses across the country, federal agencies like U.S. Department of Energy, National Institutes of Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and private sector laboratories, and he serves on two steering committees in I2SL.

Jim Coogan, P.E., is a Principal in product development at Siemens Building Technologies. In 35 years designing controls for mechanical systems, he has contributed to products ranging from room controllers to Internet-based interfaces. Jim has chaired several ASHRAE committees. He is member of the committee currently revising the Z9.5 Laboratory Ventilation standard and participates in programs with the International Institute for Sustainable Labs. Jim earned his SB in engineering at MIT.

Suzy Belmont is an Analyst in the Intelligent Campus group out of Site Operations at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). She has a BA in Mathematics and Anthropology from Hamilton College and a BS in Civil Engineering from CU Boulder. Suzy has been with NREL for over three years and in her current role, she manages and analyzes energy, water, fuels, and other laboratory consumption in order to develop improved processes of operations. She also works on climate resilience planning, manages reporting requirements, and leads laboratory employee alternative commuting campaigns. Her Intelligent Campus group incorporates research from the laboratory itself to ensure operations are on the cutting edge of efficiency, safety, resiliency and sustainability.


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