Eco-Smart Labs

As a premier research institution, Johns Hopkins has a significant amount of laboratory space critical to the school’s mission, but this space also consumes a disproportionate amount of resources. Laboratories and similar research areas are dense with equipment, and have greater needs for fresh air circulation. The result is four times the energy use, per square foot, than typical space throughout the rest of the university. Laboratories typically account for 70% of an institution's carbon footprint. Laboratories are also the epicenter of innovation; good thing, because it takes some innovation, knowledge, and commitment to reduce the impact of research on our environment.

The Office of Sustainability brings high performance innovation to the core of these research buildings. Our newest laboratory space, The Undergraduate Research Laboratories, is a 105,000 square, four-story building equipped with the latest lab technology to accommodate a variety of teaching methods and synergies between cross-disciplinary partnerships. Behind the scenes, it is an exemplar of resource conservation, using technologies such as heat recovery wheels to recycle the energy in the air exhausted from the space, chilled beams and radiant heating to heat and cool the space as efficiently as possible and in a modular fashion, as well as vacuum pumps in place of water created vacuums to reduce water use. These and other innovations helped the building reach LEED Platinum.

Being Eco-Smart in laboratory space, isn’t just about smarter buildings, but about teaming with researchers who are committed to helping reduce the environmental impact of their operations by adopting and disseminating sustainable practices. To sign up for Eco-Smart Lab tips, receive training, or become more involved, reach out to

Freezer Challenge

What is the Freezer Challenge?

Johns Hopkins University is joining the My Green Lab Freezer Challenge for February through March 2018 to promote proper management of cold storage equipment in our labs and to conserve energy.

Why should I sign up?
  • Reduce the environmental impact of your lab
  • Learn proper cold storage maintenance to reduce energy consumption and avoid equipment failures
  • Receive incentives for maintenance or cold storage equipment
  • Secure your samples
  • Win gift cards, other prizes, and awards (gift cards will be drawn just for those who sign up)
If I sign up, what do I do?

The Freezer Challenge encourages participants to properly manage their cold storage equipment through defrosting, removing dust from coils, removing items no longer needed or no longer viable, inventorying items in the freezer, and using high density storage where able.

In addition are more advanced options, temperature tuning top actual sample requirements, retiring freezers or upgrading to high efficiency models, and cutting edge practices such as sharing, using barcodes, and room temperature storage for certain samples. Labs receive 1 point for each action on the score sheet, which will be received once you sign up.

Ok, I’m ready. Where do I sign up?

Signing up is easy at Just remember to make your organization Johns Hopkins University.

I want to learn more:

The My Green Lab Freezer Challenge has a list of FAQs and resources. If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at