Laboratories are one of the primary waste generators at universities around the world. Green laboratory initiatives offer great potential for reducing waste, saving energy, and improve safety.
SUSTAINABILITY OPPORTUNITY – FUME HOOD ENERGY CONSUMPTION REDUCTION
Laboratory fume hoods capture and move hazardous materials away from workers and out the building and as such these protective devices present a significant energy saving opportunity. In Colorado, a single open fume hood can consume as much energy as one home. The high energy use is due to fresh, conditioned air constantly being exhausted through them to the outdoors. Most fume hoods at Mines are variable air volume (VAV). That means they are designed to vary the air flow based on how wide open is the sash height. An easy way to reduce the energy consumption of a fume hood is to SHUT THE SASH when not in use.
Fume hood sashes provide an important SAFETY barrier between the experimental hazard(s) and the worker. Only open hood sashes to setup or modify an experiment, then close them again. Don’t store chemicals in a fume hood. Chemicals belong in a safety cabinet, which do not require huge volumes of air.
STAY SAFE. SAVE ENERGY. SHUT THE SASH!
In an effort to reduce the university’s environmental footprint, Mines is committed to pursuing sustainable operations in its laboratories. Check out the links below to see how other organizations and universities are working to promote the development of green labs!
My Green Lab is a non-profit organization based out of California. My Green Lab is committed to encouraging sustainable practices in laboratories by offering Green Lab Certifications, resources for labs to become more sustainable, and design challenges intended to promote a culture of sustainability.
“The ACS’s flagship Green Chemistry Institute convenes the global chemistry community to catalyze innovative thinking, facilitate critical conversations, and communicate the core values and benefits of green and sustainable chemistry and engineering.”
Lab Conscious is an open resource web site intended to help scientists make their laboratory practices more sustainable. Lab Conscious regularly produces case studies on green lab initiatives, explaining how green laboratory practices can, in fact, be economical.
Mines laboratories are challenged to become Green Lab Certified by adhering to the criteria outlined by My Green Lab. Click above to see an overview of the topics covered in the assessment required to ear Green Lab Certification.
The International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) is devoted to the principles of sustainable laboratories and related high-technology facilities, from design to engineering to operation.