Green is Good

By Pamela Ahlberg

Pamela AhlbergIt’s the week before Easter, but outside my window there are still patches of snow on the ground. To which I say, enough already! Bring on Spring and make it snappy.

If your thoughts, like mine, have turned to things green, you’ve come to the right place. This month we look at improvements in energy efficient laboratory equipment design and processes. From greener manufacturing to a reduction in the use of certain consumables, you may be pleasantly surprised by recent developments. In addition to sustainability benefits, some of these improvements may also increase the “green” in your wallet.

In “Energy Improvements,” a separate article on the same topic, we look at a wide range of solutions for improving a lab’s energy usage. While some, such as turning off or turning down equipment, you may already practice, there are others worth reviewing. 

And if by chance you are involved in a new lab design project or retrofit, this article discusses the important role that laboratory exhaust systems play in improving energy efficiency. “Laboratories can reduce energy use significantly by optimizing their exhaust systems, with the use of modern technologies such as VAV controls, airflow and contaminant sensors, and building automation systems that can adjust airflow for actual conditions.”

In addition to all this green, this month we address the non-environmental problem of micromanaging. Find out what drives the typical micromanager, how to avoid his or her stultifying effect, and whether you yourself may have earned that title. We also cover the critically important matter of evaluating, sourcing and purchasing the best and most useful equipment for your lab. More than simply getting the best price, author Bernard Tulsi explores the myriad of other factors that go into the process. “[Price] is important, but it is not necessarily the largest part of the total cost over the entire life cycle. You have to look at the service and support the vendor offers, the cost of service contracts, and what your uptime and downtime is going to be on the equipment.”

If your current purchasing plans include a mass spectrometer, you have again come to the right place. This month’s INSIGHTS covers every aspect of evaluating and ultimately buying the best mass spectrometer for your research needs. Check out the latest trends in the technology, maintenance and sample prep requirements, its role in life science research and as a detector, and finally candid insights from current MS expert users. Once read, you will be in a much better position to make that important purchase.

In March the staff of Lab Manager, as well as our sister publications, attended Pittcon 2013— held for the first time in Philadelphia. In addition to the technical and educational offerings, the expo floor featured 1,011 exhibitors showcasing the latest instrumentation and technology used in laboratory science. In next month’s issue we will highlight the technologies we learned about at this year’s conference.

Happy Spring.

Pamela Ahlberg Signature

Categories: Editor's Buzz

Published In

Going Greener Magazine Issue Cover
Going Greener

Published: April 1, 2013

Cover Story

Going Greener

Equipment vendors continue making strides to reduce energy use and consumables.

Featured Articles

Quit Micromanaging!

The slogan of the micromanager may well be “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” However, “Micromanagement stifles initiative and kills motivation,” according to a very successful manager, World War II General George S. Patton. Despite this, many of us have worked for micromanagers and some of us (this author included) have even been micromanagers. Why do people micromanage? How can micromanagers change their ways?

Optimizing Laboratory Exhaust Systems

The creation of sustainable, high-performance and efficient buildings is growing in importance for companies and governments around the world for both economic and environmental reasons. In particular, laboratories are the focus of many of these reduction efforts as they are some of the largest consumers of energy due to the specialized equipment and ventilation systems required for safety and compliance.
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