There are many ways UVA scientists reduce energy use at the lab bench, through programs such as Green Labs certification, optimizing freezer temperature settings, or shutting the sash on chemical fume hoods. However, the ultimate energy-user in a lab is the building itself. Lab ventilation systems far outpace those of standard buildings in intensity, complexity, and overall consumption. Recent years of strengthening partnerships with UVA researchers through the Green Labs program have enabled the launch of UVA's new building enhancement program targeting lab ventilation inefficiencies: The Smart Labs program.
Smart Labs bridges safety and energy efficiency in UVA's critical research spaces by individually and comprehensively assessing each lab, consulting its researchers, UVA Health and Safety experts, and energy engineers to identify infrastructure improvements. Once fully implemented, the Smart Labs program is anticipated to save an estimated $5 million per year, expanding on the already established and successful Green Labs program.