Labs21 Conference to Explore Sustainability in the Heart of the Silicon Valley

April 11, 2008

Photo of Labs21 2008 Annual Conference.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) co-sponsor the Laboratories for the 21st Century (Labs21®) 2008 Annual Conference. Known as the premier laboratory sustainability conference in the nation, the Labs21 Conference provides a unique forum for industry leaders and professionals to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing sustainable laboratory design, construction, and operation worldwide.

Organizers expect this year's Labs21 Conference to draw more than 700 Federal representatives, architects, engineers, facility managers, builders, and laboratory owners from around the world. The event will take place from September 16-18 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.

Labs21 is recognized as a program that Federal agencies can use to create more sustainable facilities. In the Implementation Guidance for Executive Order 13423, agencies are directed to use Labs21 as a resource to encourage the development of sustainable, high-performance, and low-energy laboratories nationwide. The U.S. Green Building Council recently ruled that designers can use the Labs21 benchmarking tool to determine the number of LEED® energy efficiency points in its LEED® for Existing Buildings rating system. Additionally, DOE encourages its National Laboratories to participate in Labs21 through its new directive, DOE Order 430.2B, Departmental Energy, Renewable Energy, and Transportation Management. The Order states that DOE must use programs such as Labs21 to encourage the development of sustainable, high performance, and low-energy laboratories. Attendees at this year's conference will be given the opportunity to explore the strategies Labs21 offers for creating sustainable facilities and meeting the requirements of these orders.

The conference agenda will feature informative technical and poster sessions and a series of topic-specific, half-day symposia. Topics will range from efficient air management systems and carbon-neutral laboratories to project financing, Executive Order 13423, and its implications for laboratory design and operation. The event will also feature a Technology and Services Fair, which will showcase innovative products and services from more than 60 vendors. Conference attendees will have the option to attend pre-conference training workshops and evening tours.

New to this year's conference—thanks to collaboration between I2SL and several Bay Area organizations including the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Critical Facilities Round Table, and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group—will be a full track of sessions and panel discussions, a workshop, and a tour dedicated to data centers. These facilities store large volumes of information under strict environmental operating conditions. Data centers' continuous operation, strict operating conditions, and the demand for energy security and reliability combine to create significant energy requirements. This track will apply the Labs21 approach to data centers, allowing the information technology and laboratory communities to exchange their sustainable design and engineering experiences and accomplishments.

For more information on the Labs21 2008 Annual Conference, please visit the Labs21 Web site at