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The Federal Energy Management Program's (FEMP) Smart Labs initiative enables safe and efficient world class science to occur in laboratories through high-performance methods. A Smart Labs program employs a combination of physical, administrative, and management techniques to assess, optimize, and manage high performance laboratories.

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Smart Labs Toolkit

To guide stakeholders in developing a successful Smart Labs program, the Smart Labs Toolkit describes a systematic process to help laboratory owners and operators plan, assess, optimize, and manage laboratory facilities.

The toolkit includes step-by-step guidance, videos, tools, case studies, and other resources to help organizations cost-effectively achieve safe, efficient, and sustainable laboratories.

The Smart Labs Toolkit was developed by several contributors and includes case studies highlighting of best practices and lessons learned from partners that participated in the Better Buildings Smart Labs Accelerator.

Smart Labs Trainings


Laboratories can use three to four times more energy than an average office building with cost-saving opportunities of 20%-40%. Organizations choosing to implement Smart Labs principles are taking the first step in reducing their building's carbon footprint while enhancing the health and safety of their most valuable assets, their staff. 

This training provides the framework necessary to assemble a collaborative team capable of evaluating laboratory performance while identifying and implementing efficiency improvements.

Go to the Smart Labs: Advancing Safety and Efficiency in Labs training >

This Better Buildings recorded webinar shares available tools for putting together a team, assessing laboratory functions, and optimizing operation, including a case study from a university that successfully implemented a Smart Labs Program.

Go to the Smart Tools for Smart Labs recorded webinar >

This on-demand webinar explores how to optimize laboratories through training and procurement, and addresses how training and smarter procurement choices can increase the impact of those changes in the laboratory.

Go to the Transforming Research Labs Part II training >

This training explores how a typical laboratory is three to four times more energy intensive than an average commercial building and can account for up to 70% of a campus' energy footprint, making laboratories a key focal area for energy and carbon management strategies. Additionally, labs' primary functions require consistent availability of energy and water.

Go to the Smart Labs for Today's Energy Reality training >

Benchmarking is a crucial component of any energy management approach. This training provides a demonstration of the new Laboratory Benchmarking Tool, focuses on the tool's new features, and how to best use these features to further your sustainability goals.

Go to the Better Benchmarking for Laboratories training >

Federal Labs Working Group

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. Learn more about the working group and how to join.

Smart Labs Accelerator

FEMP teamed with Better Buildings on the Smart Labs Accelerator, an initiative that invited forward-leaning laboratories to be Smart Labs Accelerator Partners.

Federal agencies, hospitals, national laboratories, and universities across country have committed to implementing no- or low-cost measures in labs as part of the Smart Labs Accelerator.

Map shows the locations of federal agencies, hospitals, national laboratories, and universities across the continental United States that have committed to be Smart Labs Accelerator partners.

Key Resources