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Sustainability Program

Energy and Water Economy

Our goal is to manage energy and water use to meet the mission needs of the laboratory while reducing costs, increasing resiliency, and reducing environmental impacts.

Energy Intensity

We actively track energy usage across our campus and work to reduce the energy use intensity (EUI) of our buildings. While some building types use more energy than others, a low EUI generally indicates good performance.

To reduce our EUI, Argonne implements a number of energy-efficiency strategies and technologies throughout the campus, including:

  • LED-lighting upgrades
  • ENERGY STAR-certified and FEMP-designated equipment and electronics
  • Waste heat recovery
  • Daylighting and Lighting controls
  • Enable power management setting to shut-down electronics when not in use
  • Allocate savings from energy and water efficiency projects to invest in future efficiency projects

Success Story: Measures and Funding

In-house energy and water reinvestment program racks up 10 years of savings

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Smart Labs

Our Smart Labs Programs seeks to optimize laboratory facilities to improve energy efficiency, provide safe ventilation levels, and enhance operations. The process identifies, investigates, and executes operational, safety, and maintenance improvements within existing buildings. A building’s key systems, such as the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, and exposure control devices, are evaluated, tested, and optimized  are evaluated on best practices developed by universities, federal agencies, national laboratories, and hospitals under the Department of Energy’s Smart Labs Accelerator Program.

Success Story: Retrocommissioning Program

Argonne takes strides to increase efficiency and promote safety with smart labs program

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Clean & Renewable Energy

We have developed onsite infrastructure to provide clean and renewable energy and increase site resilience. In partnership with onsite research and operational programs, we have invested in solar photovoltaic (PV), wind, geothermal, and CHP facilities.

Water Management

We have a strong record of water conservation and efficiency efforts to reduce our impact on this finite natural resource. Argonne has greatly reduced our reliance on potable water and is taking an integrated approach to achieve our long-term water management goals.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

At Argonne, it’s as our responsibility to lead by example not only in what we produce, but also in what we reduce. We examine campus activities for opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

We’ve made progressive strides in reducing GHG emissions through numerous emission reduction initiatives, including:

  • GHG reclamation that captures, recycles, recharges and reuses sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) from laboratory procedures
  • Space management and alternative workplace arrangements to reduce occupied footprint on-site and in-turn minimize energy consumption
  • Construction and operation of new Combined Heat and Power Plant
  • Site-wide energy efficiency improvement program
  • Increase in fleet efficiency and use of low-emission and alternate fuels
  • Comprehensive employee commuting emissions reduction program