Designing the Sustainable Lab
With a growing interest and movement in sustainability, the laboratory industry is looking at ways to incorporate changes into their processes and facilities. The day-to-day operations of a laboratory require large volumes of energy, water, waste, and chemicals. While those things are necessary to do your job, there are many ways that sustainability can be brought into your existing processes by rethinking your current setup. When done correctly, not only can these efforts impact your overall environmental footprint, but they can also have a great impact on your bottom line.
As green lab efforts grow in popularity, it is important to take a step back and look at areas where your lab may have energy saving opportunities. Here are some of the most common areas where greener practices can be incorporated:
Electricity – Electricity usage is one of the biggest offenders in the laboratory space. Steps as simple as having equipment on timers, adapting your lighting methods, modifying your freezer temperatures, closing your fume hoods, and more can cut electricity demands.
Waste – Think about how much plastic is wasted from single-use products that you use each day. From bulk ordering and reduced packaging to partnering with companies that recycle these materials, there are options available to you.
Equipment & Materials– From fans and freezers to glassware and sterilization systems, there are endless eco-friendly equipment options available to laboratories like yours.
Lighting – Designing or renovating your laboratory with natural daylighting in mind reduces your energy consumption while also impacting your team’s well-being and productivity. There are even systems that can be set up to turn off certain lights when natural light is bright enough. The options are endless!
Water –From dishwashers to sinks, water usage is typically high in a lab space. Making a simple shift like installing a low-flow aerator to your faucet or running sterilizers only at full capacity can help decrease your usage.
Chemicals – More and more laboratories are turning towards less hazardous and more sustainable chemical options. Alternative substances and solvents lead to a healthier environment.
Facility Space – Engineers, project managers, designers and architects can take a close look at the external and internal elements of your facility. From HVAC to ventilation optimization, there are likely energy saving opportunities in your current facility.
Building A New Space
The early development phase of a laboratory is the best time to bring sustainability practices into your lab. In fact, it has become best practice in the industry to build with green practices in mind. Whether you are undergoing a renovation or starting from scratch, there are things you can do early on that will save you money and time down the road.
Rethink Your Current Setup
Whether you are an academic center, health system or clinical laboratory, we know that each lab has unique needs. Colaborate offers a customized approach to help bring a more sustainable vision into your lab space.