The Federal Labs Working Group, in collaboration with the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), aims to enhance energy efficiency and decarbonization efforts in federal laboratories by implementing Smart Labs principles, fostering collaboration, and offering resources and support to participating agencies.

This initiative is crucial, as laboratories consume three to four times more energy than typical commercial buildings, yet up to 50% of this energy can be wasted through ineffective operation. By addressing these challenges, federal labs have the potential to significantly contribute to energy savings and emission reductions, aligning with Executive Order 14057 and energy efficiency standards for federal buildings.

Target Participants

The Federal Labs Working Group is tailored for federal agencies housing laboratories and is particularly beneficial for the following staff members:

  • Building managers
  • Environmental health and safety and industrial hygiene professionals
  • Facility engineers
  • Sustainability managers
  • Energy managers
  • Analytics and controls maintenance staff
  • Researchers
  • Principal investigators
  • Program managers.

Mission and Objectives

The Federal Labs Working Group is a group dedicated to empowering federal agencies in achieving energy-related goals within laboratory facilities. The group is committed to implementing affordable and safe solutions while providing energy leadership to the nation through the identification and leverage of industry best practices in Smart Labs.

Through FEMP, the Federal Labs Working Group engages in the following activities:

  • Embrace Smart Labs principles
  • Collaborate on the best practices for Smart Labs implementation
  • Align safety measures with efficiency in research environments
  • Improve the ventilation effectiveness of federal government labs
  • Conduct laboratory ventilation risk assessments
  • Establish dynamic management plans for federal labs.

To achieve these objectives, the group actively collaborates with industry organizations such as the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) and My Green Lab.

Group Meetings

The group will come together through a well-structured plan that includes virtual quarterly meetings and potential annual in-person gatherings. These sessions serve as platforms for coordinating activities and fostering the exchange of ideas focused on Smart Labs. To further support individual agencies, dedicated meetings and technical assistance discussions will be facilitated by the Smart Labs team at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Every quarter, a gathering of federal laboratories and NREL staff will convene virtually to delve into discussions on best practices and resources. This collaborative effort targets lab owners, managers, operators, and others interested in developing plans for the decarbonization of challenging ventilation facilities.

In addition to the working groups meetings, the Smart Labs program offers the Smart Labs Toolkit—an invaluable resource providing further guidance, information, and strategies for successful implementation.

Join Us

To join the Federal Labs Working Group, contact Rachel Romero.