How to Implement a Successful Laboratory Energy Reduction Program: It Starts with Buy-in

Nate Fanning, Environmental Health & Engineering, Inc.
Melissa Scully, Environmental Health & Engineering, Inc.

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Laboratory energy saving programs are challenging due to the numerous stakeholders involved and the complexity of the environment and work being performed. This session will reveal some of the biggest and most common challenges in the implementation of energy reduction programs to help institutions stage their program for success.

Ensuring safety is paramount for the success of any laboratory energy reduction program. Also crucial to success, and frequently underestimated, is obtaining buy-in from all stakeholders right from the start. This extends beyond groups such as facilities engineering, energy, and environmental health and safety groups to actively include laboratory researchers and maintenance staff as well. Environmental health and safety, as well as researchers, must understand the program process and feel assured of safety when working in the lab. Maintenance and facilities staff will be tasked with upkeep of energy saving measures. These groups are essential to supporting ongoing energy savings.

Learn the factors that should be considered and how the control banding process assesses safety risks through the review of chemicals, hazardous materials, equipment, and procedures used in the lab. Using lessons learned from energy optimization projects, participants will gain insights on:

  • How to address stakeholder needs to secure buy-in and the critical points of communication for each group.
  • The value of a program "champion" who understands both complex building operations and sensitive research operations to facilitate the program and understand the needs of the varied groups.
  • How to coordinate the various contractors and activities without negatively impacting safety or research.
  • The importance of fully understanding the impact of energy saving measures on building operations, lab operations and occupants.
  • Methods to verify safety in the lab to help assure lab managers and researchers.

Learning Objectives

  • Communicate the importance of a strong collaboration between departments in order for lab energy savings programs to succeed, and how to obtain buy-in from all stakeholders (e.g., facilities, environmental health and safety, maintenance, researchers);
  • Explain the control banding risk assessment process and how it helps determine if a lab is a viable candidate for energy savings;
  • Introduce approaches for verifying safety in the lab throughout the control banding process; and
  • Know the common mistakes to avoid when implementing an energy savings program to help ensure the full value of the program is achieved.


Nate Fanning is a Project Manager with the Commissioning, Engineering and Energy division at Environmental Health & Engineering. With over 13 years of experience in energy, construction, sustainability and project management, Nate has led numerous teams to complete hundreds of energy optimization, commissioning, renovation and capital projects, as well as achieving multiple green building certifications.

Melissa Scully, MPH is a Staff Scientist and Data Analyst with Environmental Health & Engineering. Melissa performs laboratory risk assessments within the education and pharmaceutical sectors to determine appropriate ventilation in laboratory spaces and optimize energy use. Additionally, Melissa provides key services in diverse capacities involving data analysis support, field support, exposure and risk assessment, litigation support and literature review.


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