Smart Labs Accelerator Case Study Highlights

Suzanne Belmont, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Rachel Shepherd, U.S. Department of Energy, Federal Energy Management Program

The DOE Better Buildings Smart Labs Accelerator partners have committed to reducing energy use in labs by at least 20% over the next 10 years and implementing no- or low-cost measures in the shorter term. In order to accomplish this goal Smart Labs Accelerator partners have implemented innovative and creative solutions to reducing energy without compromising safety throughout their laboratories. Each Smart Labs Accelerator partner will share a couple of slides about a Smart Labs project they've implemented or will implement during the accelerator. These topics will span the laboratory landscape including retrofits, new facilities, innovative financial mechanisms and ventilation best practices.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify best practices of Smart Labs programs.
  • Identify lessons learned of Smart Labs program development.
  • Explore opportunities for energy savings in laboratories.
  • Connect with other users implementing laboratories upgrades in order to find peers and colleagues to support their own work.


Suzy Belmont manages and analyzes NREL energy, water, and other laboratory consumption to improve operational processes. Belmont also manages Smart Labs program development and sustainability reporting requirements. Belmont's Intelligent Campus group incorporates lab research efforts to ensure operations are on the cutting edge of efficiency, safety, resiliency and sustainability. Belmont has a BA in Math and Anthropology from Hamilton College and a BS in Civil Engineering from CU Boulder.

Rachel Shepherd manages a team to provide technical assistance to federal agencies to yield sustainable, environmentally-responsible, and economically-sound approaches to renewable energy policy development and project implementation. Shepherd has experience conducting commercial energy audits and retro-commissioning to identify and prioritize deployment of energy-efficiency and renewable energy projects. Shepherd holds a bachelor's degree in Applied Physics from the University of Maryland.


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