What's New

COVID-19 Information and Education

  • What lessons have we learned from restarting labs at universities and private labs since the COVID-19 pandemic started? Learn from a panel of lab owners who kicked off the I2SL Virtual Annual Conference October 6, 2020, with a plenary panel on Labs and COVID-19. Anyone can access the panel recording, just set up a free Teachable account from I2SL’s conference recordings page and see all the other sessions you can access from the conference!
  • For the past several months, labs across the country have been closed due to COVID. As labs begin to consider reopening and retooling, I2SL hosted its second free town hall, COVID-19 Challenges and Successes for Designing and Operating Safe and Sustainable Labs, on July 8. A panel of lab experts from academia, pharma, and biotech addressed the top questions facing lab owners, operators, engineers, and designers, including social distancing in labs, lab design requirements, and air quality and sustainability. View the recording today!
  • If you missed the first town hall, Returning to the Operational Lab Environment During COVID-19, you can view the webinar recording.
  • To help laboratory owners and operators reopen and return to lab operations, the American Industrial Hygiene Association released a new guidance document. The guide contains actionable steps on how to safely reopen labs, including measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Access the full document here.
  • ASHRAE recently released a new guidance document that addresses the COVID-19 mitigation strategies specific to laboratory enviroments, especially regarding changes to air flow, laboratory HVAC and exhaust systems, and maintenance that can help prevent the spread of the virus. Read the full document here.
  • Read more about the HVAC issues associated with labs and COVID-19.
  • Check out this webinar recording on HVAC considerations and other concerns for campus physical plants.
  • If you are interested in learning more about the integration of green chemistry and safety in laboratories, read this new manuscript written by several I2SL members.
  • As the new school year approaches, ASHRAE has released a guide for institutions on retrofitting and planning for improvement of indoor air quality, as well as to slow the transmission of viruses via HVAC systems in buildings including labs.
  • The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) has released several tips to help lab users stay sustainable while maintaining good health practices. You can also read the NHS’s COVID-19 Waste Management Standard Operating Procedure to learn how UK healthcare and testing facilities are handling waste management during the pandemic.
  • Are you thinking about including COVID testing in your reopening plans? An article from the Boston Globe details how many pharmaceutical companies in Massachusetts have implemented testing as employees are allowed back into labs. Check out how lab owners and operators are adapting to new working standards.
  • With building closures due to stay-at-home orders, water in building plumbing can become stagnant. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released guidance to help facilities restore water quality and ensure safe drinking water for occupants.
  • If you are looking for more resources about how to maintain labs and businesses during the pademic, CBRE has COVID-19 resources section. There are articles and podcasts that delve into how the virus is affecting the way we work, live, and invest.
  • How have strategies from the 9/11 biodefense response prepared the United States for pandemics like COVID-19? Healthcare Facilities Today examines this question and discusses improvements that would help handle this and future pandemics. For more information about testing and re-opening in healthcare facilities, read this briefing from the Massachusetts High Technology Council.
  • When buildings such as laboratories sit idle, it could have a variety of safety and sustainability effects such as water contamination, according to this article. You can also read about how climate-informed HVAC increases in relative humidity may help fight pandemic viruses in this article from Smith Group.
  • Businesses and hospitals are facing major transitions as they adapt to the challenges caused by coronavirus. To help with the adjustments, Grumman/Butkus Associates has shared engineering tips and strategies for employees at both healthcare and non-healthcare facilities. Grumman/Butkus also alerted I2SL that the ASHRAE/ASHE Technical Committee for Healthcare has updated guidance regarding Covid-19; view it here.
  • Sustainable labs are already making a difference in the fight to stop the spread of coronavirus. Scientists at Colorado State University’s Research Innovation Center are hoping to become among the first to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. Read more about the lab's work to protect our health and safety.

Annual Conference

  • The next I2SL Annual Conference and Technology Fair is scheduled for September 26-29, 2021, in Atlanta, Georgia. While I2SL is currently planning an in-person event, our attendees’ safety is our first priority, and we will continue to monitor federal guidance to ensure the safest format possible.
  • Calling All Abstracts! The Call for Presenters is now open, so get your abstracts ready. If you or your colleagues have a new project, technology, or practice to share at the conference, make sure to submit your abstract by Friday, March 26, 2021.
  • Booth registration for the 2021 Technology and Services Fair is now open! Complete the Exhibitor Application to reserve your spot today.
  • Interested in sponsoring the 2021 Annual Conference? Check out the available sponsorship opportunities or work with I2SL to create your own custom sponsorship.
  • The conference session recordings from the virtual 2020 Annual Conference are available through I2SL’s Teachable website. Pre-registered attendees can view all the session recordings free of charge until October 2021. Check your email from I2SL for instructions and the code for complimentary viewing access.
  • On-demand access for single sessions are also available for purchase by those who did not pre-register; check out the all the sessions to see which recordings you might be interested in streaming. Create your own Teachable account for free and then complete the purchase for each recording you’d like to watch.
  • On-demand viewing, as well as conference attendance, qualifies for continuing education credits (CEUs). When viewing recordings on Teachable, the site will automatically generate a certificate for each session after you view it. If you require American Institute for Architects (AIA) credits, email I2SL with the session you viewed and your AIA number.
  • Copies of the slides from all the presenters are available exclusively for I2SL members and conference attendees. To access the slides, please visit the Member Portal. Learn more about I2SL membership here.
  • Missed a working group meeting October 8 or 9? Check out I2SL’s Working Groups page to download meeting minutes or view the recorded meeting.
  • I2SL has temporarily made 2019 conference presentations available to all for distance learning. I2SL Members can also access presentations from all other past conferences in the Annual Conference Presentation Archive.

Recognition

I2SL Chapters

  • Looking to join an I2SL chapter? Find an I2SL chapter near you!
  • Join the Great Lakes Chapter on March 11, 2021, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Eastern, for its free virtual event, Retro-Commissioning COVID Lessons & Challenges. Speakers from the University of Illinois (UIC), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), IMEG, and Grumman Butkus will discuss how they have been addressing the challenges presented by COVID-19 in high-tech facilities. If you'd like to attend, please register here.
  • Join the North Carolina Chapter on March 25, 2021, from 12:00 to 1:15 p.m. Eastern, for the virtual presentation, Aerosol Pathogen Response Plan: New Methods to Mitigate Risk Indoors. By attending the webinar, you can have the opportunity to earn one continuing education credit. If interested in attending, register online.
  • The National Capital Chapter held an event at sponsor Affiliated Engineers in Rockville, Maryland, to discuss an energy-saving hot/cold water tank project at the National Institutes of Health.
  • The Emerald City Chapter in Seattle held a successful educational event on how to drive sustainability into the core of higher education, and I2SL Executive Director Phil Wirdzek addressed the audience (below).

I2SL Emerald City Chapter Event Photo

Working Groups

  • I2SL has created a new working group in partnership with MilliporeSigma to better understand how the community gauges the potential of green chemistry to influence decisions in the lab. The working group is looking for input from the sustainable lab community and you can share your ideas and feedback by taking a brief survey. To learn more, check out the Green Chemistry Working Group page.
  • I2SL is working with Eversource to establish a national Electric Utility Support to Labs Working Group to help develop energy-efficient solutions and ensure real-time utility management strategies within lab management and users. For more information or to get involved, contact Steven Miller.
  • Ventilation effectiveness—combined with energy efficiency—can make laboratories both safe and sustainable. I2SL has started a new working group, chaired by Kishor Kahn of AnSight LLC, to raise awareness about ventilation effectiveness for laboratories (VEL) among architects, engineers, facility managers, owners, and others who are involved in the design, operation, and maintenance of laboratories.
  • Calling all lab operations personnel, A&E design pros, and product representatives. The Sustainable Laboratory User Manual Working Group held its first meeting in early June to introduce the executive committee and begin planning for the upcoming months.
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  • I2SL added a module to the Laboratory Benchmarking Tool (LBT)—Operational Practices—which goes beyond energy benchmarking to allow users to compare policies and practices with their peers. Check out the new module and add your own data to keep the tool growing in its reach and impact. Watch this video for more information on the LBT!
  • Learn about the Bringing Efficiency to Research (BETR) Grants program, which is an ongoing focus of the I2SL University Alliance Group (UAG).
  • The Continuous Improvement Working Group is developing tools and a process for continuous improvement in laboratory facilities.

Resources

  • The University of California Irvine is hosting a virtual two-day workshop to provide new content based on continuing improvements, effectiveness testing, and lessons learned from its Smart Labs programs. The workshop will be aimed at Smart Labs adopters and past attendees, but newcomers are also welcome. If you'd like to attend the workshop on March 17-18, 2021, please register here.
  • Join 3Flow for the two-day virtual workshop, A Primer to Improve Airflow in Labs and Critical Workspaces, March 22 and 23, 2021, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern. During the course, you'll learn more about fume hoods and airflow controls, evaluating airflow system design and operation, and more. If you'd like to attend, register here.
  • If you are trying to implement quality sustainability projects on your university campus, watch this webinar recording. The speakers focused on how facilities, operations, students, faculty, and staff can work together on sustainable projects on the campus and in their community.
  • Interested in sustainable procurement? Check out this webinar hosted by the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council to learn more about guidance for purchasers, including how to integrate sustainable procurement into contracts for refrigerant-containing equipment.
  • Want to participate in more events related to the sustainable lab community? Check out the Industry Events page to learn about notable events happening this year.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Better Buildings Smart Labs Accelerator program has created the new Smart Labs Toolkit. The free toolkit provides step-by-step guidance to help organizations achieve more sustainable, efficient, and safe laboratories. Resources are available through the Toolkit to help lab owners and users plan, assess, optimize, and manage a Smart Lab.
  • In their latest blog post, Labconscious interviewed I2SL member and Utility Working Group chair, Steve Miller. Read the interview and learn how to empower scientists to move toward sustainability in their labs.
  • In partnership with the Better Buildings Smart Lab Accelerator, I2SL is offering a webinar series to encourage people to continue improving safety and efficiency in laboratories. View the webinar recording for the final webinar in the series and learn from Jim Coogan about building automation system best practices.
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  • As a result of this global pandemic, we may see a shift in how designers and engineers create research spaces. B+H Advance Strategy shared an article with I2SL about how to design the next generation of high-tech, cutting-edge laboratories. Read more in Team Science: Designing for Research in the Information Age.
  • Operations and maintenance (O&M) training courses are available now at a discount to I2SL Members.
  • I2SL members from organizations such as the Cleveland Clinic and Harvard University are helping to make the places that save lives save resources too! Check out this article from the Association of American Medical Colleges.
  • Check out this article from fivethirtyeight.com, featuring I2SL members, about the dilemmas faced by today's scientists and lab specialists when trying to help the planet while using resources in the process.
  • According to the latest addition to our E-Library, laboratory design has been shifting towards sustainability and spatial flexibility. Read the full article to find out more!
  • Harvard University got several of its laboratories to go green by giving green. Read the case study about how financial incentives helped reduce lab energy intensity.
  • Core facilities are the latest trend in consolidating campus research facilities and equipment to save resources and maximize researchers' abilities. Read more about how they work at Northwestern University or watch a video about core facilities.
  • The University of Virginia recently completed a Pilot Lab Program to study the true potential of holistic Green Labs programming that addresses both building and user aspects of research efficiency.

Job Opportunities

  • Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. is hiring a Principal Lead, Sustainability & Social Impact. The remote position is open to individuals located in the North America, Latin America, and Europe. To learn more or to apply, check out the LinkedIn job posting.
  • Interested in a career in architecture? Check out these job listings on the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture website.
  • Tell us if you have a job opportunity that you would like us to share.