Sustainable Labs

Sustainable Labs

Green Labs works with researchers to lead energy conservation initiatives, recycling education, and more. Smart Labs facilitates large-scale energy efficiency upgrades and helps to enhance safety in laboratory buildings. Explore more about these programs on the pages below.


Green Labs Smart Labs


Did you know that research labs at UVA make up 10% of the University’s physical footprint, but are responsible for 33% of its energy use? 

A group of nine researchers stands together smiling and holding their Green Labs beaker mug and plaques.
The Papin Lab in the Department of Biomedical Engineering was certified as a Gold Green Lab in Fall 2022.

Labs also generate tons of waste, consume on average 10 times more energy and four times more water than office spaces. Most research institutions experience this imbalance, but what causes it? 

Labs require intensive mechanical systems to meet the ventilation and safety needs of UVA’s scientists. Adding to this intensity, many researchers in laboratories utilize large pieces of specialty equipment and other resources in order to meet their research objectives. Research contributes greatly to the university's environmental footprint and in order to reach UVA's 2030 Sustainability Plan goals, it is critical to engage researchers. 

The Sustainable Labs team, within the Office for Sustainability, addresses these lab sustainability issues from floor to ceiling, researcher by researcher, building by building with a holistic approach that brings together the Green Labs and Smart Labs programs.