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Laboratories for the 21st Century

Laboratories for the 21st Century (Labs21) is a voluntary partnership program dedicated to improving the environmental performance of U.S. laboratories. The program is a joint initiative between the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

On average, U.S. laboratories use far more energy and water per square foot than office buildings and other facilities. This is due to the energy-intensive nature of laboratory activities as well as intensive ventilation and other requirements addressing health and safety.

The Labs21 guiding principle centers on a whole building approach. Adopting this approach allows laboratories to improve efficiency for the entire facility instead of focusing on specific laboratory components.

Learn more about the Labs21 whole building approach:

  • Find agency resources that help Federal agencies optimize laboratory energy and environmental performance
  • Read best practices guides about laboratory energy and environmental management
  • Browse case studies about Federal laboratory energy and environmental projects exemplifying the Labs21 whole building approach.


Contact Will Lintner at 202-586-3120 for Federal agency technical assistance.

For private sector technical assistance, visit the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories website.