the financial. When Sandy hit New York
and multiple animal facilities lost their
colonies, god knows what the impact
to science and discovery was. Getting
to the financial impact gets their hearts
On a limited budget, where should I
focus my efforts to go green?
GK: The first thing that comes to mind is
that there is sweet spot of LED fixtures out
on the market now. They are a good price
and the quality of light, with adjustability
in color and texture, allow you to fine
tune your room. That would be an easy
change that I would suggest.
JM: I’d go for low-hanging fruit. Look
at SOPs. Right now, a top NIH medical school I am working with is being
extremely aggressive in analyzing their
SOPs. Because none of their researchers handle mice with their feet, they’re
starting to rethink foot coverings. The
animals are located in micro-isolators,
so they’re rethinking hair nets and the
gowning process. If people are using
aseptic processes, maybe all people
need are gloves. They’re evaluating
whether all of that is really needed.
Another thing to look at is air changes and water usage. I’m amazed at how
many people with bulk autoclaves use
cold potable water to cool the condensate off of the sterilizer. Every single
one of these buildings has a chilled
If you the run the chilled water to
the vacupump ring in a sterilizer, it
makes it much more consistent and
makes it last much longer. And then
you can save money and energy. For
sterilizers, water is always constantly
flowing through them.
When purchasing green equipment or
supplies, what criteria should I look for?
WD: I’d ask about life-cycle analysis, carbon footprint, where is the product coming
from? These are the sort of questions I’d
ask as a customer, so that maybe I can put
this information into my grant proposal,
which may help me get the money I need.
GK: It starts from the birth of the product. You really want something, cradle to
grave, that is responsible to the environment. On top of that, there are groups
out there, like i2sl ( www.i2sl.org), that
list certain companies and manufacturers
that are environmentally friendly.
If you were building or renovating a
facility and looking for an architect
who specializes in sustainable design,
what should you look for?
GK: The first thing is make sure they’ve
got a portfolio that backs that kind of
project up. You don’t want someone
coming in who doesn’t understand how
a vivarium functions. Look at their credentials. Do they have certifications for
LEED? Look for someone with experience in sustainable design.
WD: From my perspective, when I ask
clients how they choose an architect,
they look for someone with the portfolio, but they should also be more than
one architect deep. It’s like the NBA: if
you’re a great player, you don’t want to
be the only great player on your team.
You need to have somebody else on
your team to make the team win. It’s
the same thing with architects. People
want firms with some depth.
Any final comments on sustainable
JM: Don’t be mean, go green!
Elizabeth Doughman is the Editor in Chief
for ALN Magazine. elizabeth.doughman@
a long time to put together the whole package. This is the way to get management to
look at it, otherwise it’s just more drops
of water into the stream—it doesn’t really
have an impact.
GK: What we do is walk our clients
through the green process. We start
with the green approach, tackling the
low-hanging fruit first, at the beginning of
the process. You have to have a conversation with your client at the end of the
process, because if they come to us at the
end and tell us that they want to be green,
becomes a real problem because now we
have to reboot the whole process.
So it needs to be a discussion right up
front. We need to discuss what can we
do to renovate an existing facility or build
a new one to provide these low hanging fruit and come up with a list of pros
and cons for them so they can go to the
administration and actually have costs
showing what they can save now and
what they can save in the future.
JM: To prove the value of an animal facility, what I’ve found to be very successful
is to find out what overall percentage
of the overall research investment is in
animal research. For example, I am currently working with a top NIH medical
school. Out of $700 million in research
expenditure, over 55% is in animal
research. If you tell management that
$400 million is riding on the health and
welfare of your animals, you have a different level of engagement.
Most people don’t realize what the
impact to the science is, in addition to
Bea Riemschnieder, Editorial Director of ALN Magazine, Wayne DeSantis, a Past President of
the Allied Trade Association, George Kemper, a Laboratory Planner at BHDP, Josh Meyer, the
managing principal at Jacobs Consultancy, Inc., and Elizabeth Doughman, the Editor in Chief
of ALN Magazine, discuss sustainable design at the 2016 TurnKey Conference.