University of Vermont

Students on the Lawn

Green Labs Program

Project Timeline: 
July, 2012
Project Progress: 

Project Category: Research/Study

The University of Vermont has 500+ laboratories on campus. Each lab houses instrumentation for research needs. This program seeks ways to reduce energy consumption in laboratory buildings through strategic equipment upgrades and peer outreach. The rationale for this project: (1) laboratory equipment contributes to significant energy consumption on campus; (2) routine preventive maintenance can increase equipment longevity; (3) unused and outdated equipment creates a life-safety hazard and unnecessary space/storage requirements; and (4) unused resources in one lab may serve a valued purposed in another lab versus a new purchase. Instrumentation Technology Services led this project, which was conducted in two phases: 

Phase I: Pilot Inventory of Equipment

Phase I entailed conducting a pilot-level inventory of equipment located in the labs on campus in anticipation of a more comprehensive, campus-wide review and action plan. The pilot project was conducted in a sampling of 20 labs over a two-week period, followed by analysis and a report.

The inventory included:

  • An assessment of overall energy usage per device;
  • Utilization of the device on an annual basis;
  • Preventive maintenance requirements;
  • Storage requirements;
  • Identification of equipment in need of repair.


The Phase I report included:

  • Lab equipment inventory;
  • Energy consumption and opportunities for reduction;
  • Recommendations about the feasibility of using this process campus-wide;
  • Estimated costs and overall return on investment for campus-wide equipment inventory and upgrade project.

Phase II: 

As a result of findings in Phase I, Phase II entailed ITS systematically scanning and inventorying refrigerators and freezers in UVM labs by building. Five buildings were sampled: Colchester Research Facility, Terrill, Stafford, HSRF (Partial), Given (Partial).  A total of 318 refrigerators and freezers were inventoried within the identified buildings.  An age profile of the inventoried refrigerators and freezers was also developed with 150 of those inventoried being 16 years or older.

Clean Energy Fund Award: $60,000
Expenditure as of May 2015: $39,400


10/2015: Presentation given by Tim Agan, Biomedical Services Supervisor of UVM's Technical Services Partnership, at UVM's campuswide lab meeting. 

6/2014: Phase II Summary Report | Phase II Summary Presentation

7/2013: Phase I Summary Report