Green Labs

Green Labs

As part of the FAS effort to reduce its environmental impact, and greenhouse gas emissions in particular, CCB has teamed with the FAS Green Labs Program to green the practices in our labs.

Labs consume far more energy than other buildings per square foot. For instance, on Harvard's Cambridge campus labs make up approximately 25% of total building square footage but are responsible for 50% of the utility usage. The ten most energy-intensive FAS buildings are all laboratories, although not all of them belong to CCB.

One of the reasons labs are so energy intensive is that they are typically supplied with 4 - 15 air changes of outside air per hour. This outdoor air must be conditioned (i.e. heated or cooled) to levels acceptable to a lab's occupants, which in the Boston climate takes a significant amount of energy. In addition to having special conditioning needs, labs are full of equipment that require a great deal of electricity to function.

Building-Scale Changes

Many building infrastructure projects are underway in CCB to improve energy efficiency. They include:

  • Putting occupancy sensors on lights.
  • Setting back building temperatures and ventilation rates at night.
  • Replacing "energy hog" light bulbs with efficient ones.
  • Converting constant air volume fume hoods to variable air volume hoods.

What You Can Do

The greening of our department relies both on infrastructural changes and on individual behaviors. Click on the sidebar links or visit the FAS Green Labs Program to learn about green measures that you can easily implement in your lab.