University of California, Irvine, Life-Cycle and Sustainability Design Standards and Costs

This workshop focuses on the costs, benefits, and methods of implementing a Smart Labs programóboth financial and non-financial costs and benefits. The workshop will not dive into the design parameters and solutions inherent in Smart Labs implementation, but will cover the implementation process, anticipated costs, and benefits. The design parameters are covered in detail in a 1.5-day workshop provided by the University of California, Irvine, every one to two years. Since this workshop is specifically focused on costs and benefits, it provides a precursor opportunity to learn whether to pursue a Smart Labs program.

All the information in this workshop will be based on actual results of the UC Irvine Smart Labs program over the past 12 years and lessons learned from implementation at other lab facilities. With more than a decade of technical, programmatic, and financial results, some of the results that will be covered are direct, some are byproducts and co-benefits that have delivered unanticipated extra value, some are co-benefits such as improved safety that are impossible to assign a dollar value yet very significant, and overall, the program has outperformed the cost/benefit ratio that was initially planned and hoped for.

This workshop will cover costs, benefits, methods of financing utilized, payback performance results, and approximate value of co-benefits above and beyond the tangible hard dollar savings used to finance the program. Many co-benefits center around improved safety, and the value of some results extends beyond laboratory safety to a broader understanding of best ventilation and exhaust practices for control of airborne hazards and achieving safe, efficient, and sustainable operation.

At a time when many institutions have been procuring emissions offsets to reduce their net climate impact, the permanent GHG reductions of a Smart Labs program that pays for itself are increasingly attractive as offset prices quadruple while the alternative of deep energy efficiency yields sustainable benefits backed by more than a decade of operational, programmatic, and financial results to rely upon.

The course will include:

  • Overview of Smart Labs Program
  • Building an integrated implementation team
  • Estimating costs, direct and indirect benefits
  • Determining potential funding mechanisms and cost/benefit analysis
  • Process for planning and implementation of Smart Labs
  • Systems management to protect return on investment


Wendell Brase, is Associate Chancellor-Sustainability at the University of California, Irvine. Prior to his current role he was administrative vice chancellor at UC Irvine and UC Santa Cruz. He also co-chairs the University of California Global Climate Leadership Council.

Thomas Smith is the President of 3Flow. Mr. Smith has worked for more than 30 years helping facilities ensure proper performance of labs and critical workspaces. He holds degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Hygiene. Mr. Smith serves on numerous ventilation safety committees and serves on the I2SL Board of Directors.

Brian Pratt, AIA, DBIA, LEED AP is the Campus Architect and Associate Vice Chancellor for Design & Construction Services at the University of California, Irvine. Currently overseeing all major academic building projects, he leads the Design and Construction efforts for the campus delivering highly complex projects via design build. In his more than eight-year tenure at UCI, Brian has overseen several project types including research facilities, laboratories, active learning classrooms, dormitories and highly technical projects. A graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, he has worked in the private and public sectors and served on the Board of Directors and as President of the American Institute of Architects, Orange County. Brian is accustomed to working with complex projects and multiple user groups and his work has been recognized with several awards and recognitions. With sustainability as a priority, many projects have achieved LEED Platinum certification.


Back to Training and Education