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Sustainable research, operations and community
September 2015 (Vol.3, No. 2)
In this issue...
Visit our website to learn how PNNL is performing against the environmental goals set by our DOE customer as well as our social and economic indicators. A "highlights" PDF is available for download.
Our triple-bottom-line approach to managing our sustainability performance—including the environmental, social, and economic pillars—makes us better stewards of the Lab. By thinking holistically about the impact of our work while focusing on what is most important to our stakeholders, we foster the long-term success of PNNL.
We exceeded two goals in the areas of energy intensity and irrigation water (FY15 compared to FY14).
Scientist Kathleen Judd presented PNNL's 2014 Rock The Watt staff energy challenge results at the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories annual conference in San Diego CA. Her presentation was well received and generated a positive showing for PNNL and Kathleen's work in this area of engaging employees in sustainable laboratory operations.
PNNL is a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Business which recognizes efforts to encourage bicycling among staff members, for wellness as well as environmental benefits.
October is "Energy Awareness Month"
With colder weather on the way, it's a good time to think about our energy consumption—both at home and at work. Employees are asked to remember to do these things as a good steward of PNNL resources:
Cutting back our energy use at PNNL saves money and the environment—and this aligns with our mission to "transform the world." To find out more about what employees can do and what PNNL does as an organization to reduce our roughly $100,000-per-week energy bills, visit our website.
Change is hard for some of us, especially when we've been used to doing things the same way forever. Once they learned that "chilling up" their ultra-low-temperature (ULT) freezers would save energy and prolong the life of their freezer, but not affect their research, three PNNL researchers adopted the change. Then they kept going, taking it upon themselves to inform their peers about the small change that could benefit PNNL's bottom line. Several researchers agreed that making the change made good sense for their research—and for the environment.
Colette Sacksteder, Kristin Victry and Ron Moore (pictured above l to r) successfully led their peers to set back 29 of PNNL's 65 ULT freezers in BSF and EMSL and are saving PNNL an estimated:
If you walk the east hallway in the new Systems Engineering Building (3820), look up! There's a viewing window in a ceiling tile where you can see an R&D controller that's been installed on the HVAC system. The devices allow R&D staff, working with Building Operations Control Center (BOCC) staff and core teams, to demonstrate grid integration, energy efficiency routines, and diagnostics for buildings.
Sharing operational experience between R&D and the BOCC helps achieve a smart campus, in turn, R&D has a real test-bed to apply strategies and evaluate the impacts on occupants. Additionally, the technology will be used in a multi-campus project with UW and WSU next spring for load shedding and trans-active control. If you want to learn more, watch this video.
VOLLTRON, an open source distributed sensing and control platform developed by R&D staff for the DOE Building Technologies Office, is being used to support multi-building load curtailment and other efficiency algorithms.
PNNL Facilities & Operations is always looking for opportunities to use our facilities as a "living laboratory" to test new concepts in energy and environmental science and technology in our own buildings. Email Sustainability to share ideas for research-facilities collaborations.
Transferring technology that makes a difference is one of the ways we deliver economic value to our community. Two new marketing brochures for business and industry are available—one short and one longer. They describe what PNNL offers businesses; explain the advantage of working with us; list our portfolio areas; and describe the ways companies can work with us (agreement mechanisms, including ACT, etc.).
Delta High School Gets a Big New Home
A bronze plaque greets visitors at the front door of Delta High School's new home in Pasco. The plaque was purchased by Battelle to congratulate the first graduating class in 2013. It has the signatures of the students and the teachers who were part of that effort. This fall, the new school opens and allows for full capacity, which is 400 students. Delta High was a community effort that grew from a discussion by founding members Battelle, Washington State University Tri-Cities, and the Kennewick, Pasco and Richland school districts about the possibility of a STEM high school in the Tri-Cities. The new 23,000-square-foot-facility was made possible thanks to funding from the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Washington State Legislature, local school districts and our community.
If you have feedback, questions or story ideas for our next issue, please send an email to Sustainability@pnnl.gov.