Efficient lab equipment display attracts labs community

2 min read

You no longer have to choose between cost savings and energy savings when you purchase for your lab.

That’s what equipment specialists said at the “Efficient Lab Equipment Vendor Display” organized by VWR and the FAS Green Program in the basement of NW Labs last week.

At the event, purchasing managers from university research laboratories met with representatives from equipment manufacturers. Several energy-efficient centrifuges, incubators and freezers were on display for researchers to learn about and compare. The newest designs cost less and use less energy. Representatives from the FAS Green Program were also on site distributing sustainability flyers, free fluorescent light bulbs and eco-friendly power strips.

Energy reduction at laboratories is crucial for achieving Harvard’s greenhouse gas reduction goal of 30% by 2016. “Labs are the most energy-intensive space on campus,” Green Labs Coordinator Jamie Bemis said. While occupying only 1/4th of the university’s square footage, laboratories account for more than 1/2 the University’s total energy consumption.

Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology’s Assistant Director of Research Operations Kim Foemmel was most impressed by the carbon fiber centrifuges on display. They hold larger volumes and are easier to use than older models. “It’s basically a three-in-one centrifuge,” she said. “So you’re not plugging in three, you’re plugging in one.”

The new centrifuges are 15 to 30 percent less expensive than standard models. And the cost includes environmentally friendly removal of laboratories’ existing equipment.

“It’s like top-of-the-line aerospace technology,” Thermo Scientific Centrifugation Team Leader Tom Egan said. “It’s not hard to believe the benefits. It’s hard to believe the cost.”

A follow up event is being planned for March 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Bauer/Naito lobby that will be larger and provide more comprehensive information on energy efficiency.