You are here
Projects Updates for place: Madigan Laboratory Building
- Associated Project(s):
Hello 2020 researchers!
After winning 1st place internationally in 2018 and 2019, lab researchers who use cold-storage at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are encouraged to register in the 2020 International Laboratory Freezer Challenge to save energy and help the campus win for a third-straight year.
Sign up HERE!
Campus efforts in more than 70 laboratories across 15 buildings earned Illinois the award last year. The total energy usage in these spaces decreased by an estimated 438 kWh/day or a combined annual total equivalent of 13.5 homes energy for one year.
The University of Illinois research community has received international recognition from a number of organizations and media publications:
Lab Manager Magazine, Cold Storage March 2019 Published article with participants quoted for expert advice here
S-Labs highlights our achievements in their short-listed profiles here
iSEE and Facilities & Services published news releases U of I Wins Freezer Challenge
Labs that use ultra-ultra low temperature freezers (-150C), ultra-low temperature freezers (-80C), lab freezers (-40C to -20C), refrigerators, or cold rooms can earn points by taking action now.
For more details on how your lab can save cooling energy, visit freezerchallenge.org.
The Freezer Challenge takes place between December 2019 and May 2020. Individual labs self-report and estimate their energy saving on score sheets. These sheets are made available via email upon registration and are due by May 1, 2020.
Reductions were achieved due to the dedication and creativity of researchers across campus in implementing best practices for cold storage management. They received points for taking actions such as properly maintaining freezers and refrigerators, discarding old samples, and retiring unneeded units.
In 2019, over 400 labs representing 41 organizations around the world competed, and Illinois was named one of three organizational winners by saving 160,000 kWh/year. The Ming Lab in the Department of Plant Biology, managed by Julie Nguyen, was named an honorable mention winner in the individual lab category.
The International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) and My Green Labs run the Freezer Challenge. Participants have already saved over 8.5 million kWh since 2017, approximately enough to offset the carbon emissions associated with driving over 15 million miles.
Past winners were announced at the I2SL conference and their accomplishments published in Nature.
For more information on the Illinois campus achievements and competition, check out our Illinois-specific website: https://freezerchallengeui.wixsite.com/freezerchallenge
Join us and submit your scoresheet by midnight on May 1st to achieve world-class results!
For help getting started contact:
Madeline Barone @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Madeline E. Barone, B.S.
Environmental Sustainability and Psychology
Energy Efficiency & Conservation Specialist | UIUC Facilities & Services
Co-Director | Eco-Olympics
The registration for the 2020 Freezer Challenge is now open!
Sign-up this year to win for the third year in a row!
Signing up is easy and only takes 2-3 minutes to enter the labs contacts and organization information.
If you would like help signing up, send Your Name (first, last), email, PI’s name, Building and Department, with subject “Please Sign-Up” to: email@example.com
The challenge takes place throughout the spring semester and participation is self-explanatory, each lab gets points for actions taken to increase lab energy efficiency (see Score Sheet for categories). I will be in contact with all the labs that sign up to support your efforts throughout the semester. The labs with the most points in each laboratory category win the challenge.
Our participation in the North American Laboratory Freezer Challenge supports our Climate Leadership Commitments, campus sustainability, Green Labs, and the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP).
If you are no longer the contact for your lab and you have a different contact that I can replace yours with, please let me know!
Questions can be sent to:
Madeline Barone, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Illinois F&S | Freezer Challenge Site Coordinator
Eco-Olympics | President
The University has been recognized for winning the Freezer challenge for a second year in a row, in the magazine Nature. Click the link to go to the site! https://www.nature.com/articles/d42473-019-00288-0
A cool competition for sustainable labs
Laboratory refrigeration requires a surprising amount of energy. Since 2017, the International Laboratory Freezer Challenge has pushed labs to reduce their draw.
Inefficient freezers waste energy and money.Credit: Cavan Images/ Alamy
For scientists, a good freezer is like a good colleague: integral to doing your best work. But cooling comes at a great cost. Ultra-low temperature freezers, which usually store samples at –80°C, can use as much energy as an average household, and more as they get older. Multiplied by hundreds of thousands of units in labs around the world, that humble lab freezer has quite an energy footprint.
In 2017, My Green Lab and the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) created the International Laboratory Freezer Challenge* to inspire labs around the world to reduce energy used for cold storage, from refrigerators to the coldest freezers. Individual labs or organizations complete a scorecard detailing the implementation of best practices and energy-saving processes: good management practices, including defrosting freezers; temperature tuning, such as setting a freezer at –70°C or higher; retiring unused refrigerators/freezers or replacing them with more efficient ones; and some unexpected improvements, such as storing certain samples at room temperature.
Labs receive points for every action that they take. In four categories, academia, the biopharma industry, hospitals and government/non-profit, individual labs and organizations that accumulate the most points win. There can be eight winners, all of whom receive an award and recognition in Nature. This year, awards were given to labs and organizations in three of the four categories.
“The number of participating labs in 2019 nearly doubled from 2018,” says Allison Paradise, CEO and founder at My Green Lab, bringing the number of entrants worldwide to about 400 this year.
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign winning team Credit: University of Illinois
In a repeat of 2018, the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, took the top spot among academic organizations by saving about 160,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. To win as a university, Madeline Barone, an undergraduate studying environmental science who organized the effort, made it her mission to get as many labs as possible involved. “Following up with people was super important,” she says.
Teamwork also made a big impact in the biopharma-organization category. Charles River — a global, preclincal contract research organization and headquartered in Wilmington, MA — registered all its sites around the world for the competition and encouraged them to compete against each other.
“This led to one of the most meaningful reductions in energy consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions we’ve ever seen,” Paradise says.
Winning team from Charles River
Charles River, Mattawan (MI), took the top spot. “We entered to see where we stood in relation to industry standards,” says neurobehavioral scientist, Rachel Tapp. The team ended up learning a lot. “Our sustainability crew is new within our Charles River site,” Tapp explains. “So, we learned much about who manages these systems and how they were managed.” Charles River, Mattawan saved about 423,000 kWh a year.
Rounding out the organizational winners, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) earned a threepeat in the government/non-profit category. Even after wins in 2017 and 2018, the CDC added an estimated saving of 300,000 kWh a year.
Among individual laboratory winners, the Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Tissue Bank at Imperial College London took the top academic spot. To do that, says tissue bank manager George Gveric, “We increased the temperatures on all our freezers and rearranged samples so that freezers are opened less frequently.”
Winning team at Imperial college London
The top honor in the biopharma industry category for an individual lab went to Amyris Biology/Automated Strain Engineering Lab. The start-up is based in Emeryville, CA. Senior associate scientist, Gloria Sagala calls the Freezer Challenge “a great opportunity for our team to come together around a common goal to improve our energy efficiency with our cold storage.” Sagala and her colleagues removed inefficient and unnecessary freezers and implemented a system to track defrosting, saving the lab 30–40% in freezer energy.
Amyris Biology/Automated Strain Engineering Lab winning team Credit: Amyris Biology/Automated Strain Engineering Lab
An individual lab winner in 2018, the Inorganic and Radiation Analytical Toxicology Branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) teamed up with the Clinical Chemistry Branch to take the individual government/non-profit lab category. “We keep entering because we keep trying to increase awareness of energy use for cold storage in our division,” says Deanna Jones, a team leader in the CDC’s Division of Laboratory Sciences. When asked about the biggest change this year, Jones says, “We have begun buying ENERGY STAR-rated freezers to replace old, less energy efficient ones.”
CDC winning teamCredit: CDC
Overall, the combined efforts of participants in 2019 saved about 2.4 million kWh a year. That’s enough energy to power more than 230 average American homes for a year.** Freezer Challenge organizers hope to see that number double again in 2020.
Organizational honorable mention:
• Charles River Laboratories, Leiden
• University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
• US. National Institutes of Health
Individual-laboratory honorable mention:
• Janssen Immunology Biology Lab at La Jolla, CA, led by Steven Nguyen
• Laboratory Research & Reference Branch, Division of STD Prevention, CDC
• Ming Lab, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, managed by Julie Nguyen
*The Freezer Challenge is made possible through the generous support of sponsors, including 2019’s Gold Sponsors Eppendorf and PHCbi.
Hello 2019 Freezer Challenge Participants, It’s time to celebrate, eat cake, mingle with your peers and be recognized for your efforts supporting the University of Illinois’ second-year running 1st place finish in the International Freezer challenge. Thanks to you for leading sample management and cold-storage best practices, and supporting the University of Illinois' world-class standing.
Sustainability week is October 21-25th. This year the campus Sustainability Celebration will take place on October 23rd, from 4-6pm in the Levis Faculty Center, Room 300. We will award your Certificate of Leadership in Environmental Stewardship in Sustainable Lab Practices at this celebration and acknowledge your hard work and energy savings this past year at the University of Illinois.
This celebration also shares exciting environmental initiatives around campus (including the Energy Conservation Incentive Program) and attendees will have the chance to provide input for the 2020 Illinois Climate Plan.
Additionally, you will be acknowledged and invited on stage to be congratulated for your hard work, as well as join in the group photo with the 1st place award from the I2SL conference in Denver, Colorado. (We are hoping it will return in time, if not we will use last years for the photo)
Please RSVP to this email if you are able to clear your schedule for this celebration and check in with me at the door when you arrive.
Thank you all again for your incredible performance in this year’s International Freezer Challenge. We could not have won without your hard work and dedication to sustainable labs on campus.
Energy Efficiency, Conservation, and Environmental Stewardship Intern | UIUC F&S
President | Eco-Olympics
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign | Class of 2020
Environmental Sustainability and Psychology Majors
Energy Efficiency, Conservation, and Environmental Stewardship Intern | UIUC F&S
President | Epsilon Eta Environmental Honors Fraternity
President | Eco-Olympics
- Associated Project(s):
Click here to see this online
A monthly e-newsletter where Chancellor Robert Jones shares campus news, stories, successes and information
I hope you'll take a moment to watch this short video welcoming students to campus. I am grateful to each one of you for making this a special place to live, learn and work. No matter how long you’ve been part of the Illinois community, there is always something new to discover. I look forward to seeing what we will accomplish together.
Robert J. Jones
It's time to come home, Illini.
Illinois Homecoming will take place Oct. 13-19. From pancakes at the Homecoming 5K to family fun in Grange Grove, don’t miss out on all our community has to offer.
Illinois students are outstanding. For the spring 2019 semester, the university announced:
- 7,240 Dean’s List students
- 243 Bronze Tablet honorees
- 9,068 May graduates
For the complete list of names, view this list.
The 1980s tailgating competition is returning to Illinois after a 30-year hiatus.
TailGREAT will take place on Saturday, Sept. 21 when the Illini take on Nebraska at Memorial Stadium. The competition will award the Best BBQ and Most Creative Tailgate.
Celebrate Our Community
Illinois was ranked #20 on the list of Best Colleges for your Money by Money magazine.
Champaign-Urbana was named one of the Top 40 places young people are moving to by USA Today.
Illinois received first place in the International Laboratory Freezer Challenge’s Academic category for the second year in a row.
Learn About University News
Application opens - The Illinois application for freshmen and transfer students opens Sept. 1.
Scholar endowment - A University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign endowment to honor scholar Yingying Zhang has been established by the Zhang family. Yingying's Fund will assist international students in crisis and their families.
Student Success - A new Student Success Initiative aims to better understand the factors that lead to retention, graduation rates, placement, degree-completion time and more.
Discover Illinois Research
Better sleep - Optimistic people tend to sleep better and longer, according to a new Illinois study.
Cheaper flight costs - Illinois researchers are using artificial intelligence to design a customized pricing model that benefits airline customers.
Healthier diets in children - An Illinois study provides more evidence that kids who cook have healthier dietary habits.
Safer K-9s - A new Illinois effort will ensure law enforcement K-9s get the specialized care they need when injured on the job.
OFFICE OF THE CHANCELLOR
500 Swanlund Administration Building, 601 East John Street, Champaign IL 61820
For the second straight year, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is the best at implementing cold-storage best management practices, including reducing the energy required for laboratory cold storage. Campus efforts in more than 70 laboratories across 15 buildings earned back-to-back first place awards in the International Laboratory Freezer Challenge’s Academic category.
The total energy usage in these spaces decreased by an estimated 438 kWh/day or a combined annual total equivalent of 13.5 homes energy for 1 year. The reductions were achieved due to the dedication and creativity of researchers across campus in implementing best practices for cold storage management. They received points for taking actions such as properly maintaining freezers and refrigerators, discarding old samples, and retiring unneeded units.
See attached file or visit: https://www.fs.illinois.edu/resources/announcements/2019/08/08/the-university-of-illinois-wins-the-international-freezer-challenge-for-the-second-straight-year for full press release.Attached Files:
F&S coordination of the 2019 Freezer Challenge is making progress, gaining momentum and is half way to meeting last year’s participation of 45 labs. Designed to engage, educate and motivate efficient lab sample management thereby increasing energy efficiency and reducing consumption, this competition ends May 1st at midnight.
Click here to see this online University of Illinois 2019 International Freezer Challenge Participation Register NOW! (click here), history, recognitions, accomplishments & 2019 Goals U of I Won 1st place internationally Top four laboratory teams scoring the highest point totals during the 2018 Freezer Challenge
Being the best at reducing the energy required for laboratory cold-storage and implementing sample management best-practices earned the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign first place in the 2018 International Freezer Challenge, leading our peers and joining first place organizations in multiple categories.... read more
The 2018 International Freezer Challenge award on display, in the CABBI lab area at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology
The University of Illinois research community has received international recognition from a number of organizations and media publications.
- Lab Manager Magazine (March, 2019 edition) published an article with participants quoted for expert advice.
- Nature Magazine feature, published in October, 2018 edition.
- S-Labs highlights our achievements in their awards short-listed profiles
- ISEE and Facilities & Services published news releases U of I Wins Freezer Challenge and 2018 International Freezer Challenge Champions.
In 2018, 45 Labs made this BIG of an impact, join us to help change the world!
Highlights from lab efforts in 2018
Researchers rallied to apply best practices in sample-storage management, reducing their lab's carbon footprint and submitting their efforts for recognition in the International Freezer Challenge. Particpating researchers were awarded a certificate for demonstrating leadership in Environmental Stewardship and Sustainable Laboratory Practices. Register to receive your lab's 2019 scoresheet! (sample scoresheet attached)
Illinois can win again! Only one organization (the CDC) has won twice in their division. Illinois can join them in 2019!
Visit website for more details! (click image)
Join us and submit your scoresheet by midnight, May 1 to achieve world class results!
For help getting started contact:
Paul Foote at email@example.com
Think Globally-Act Locally
We Won 1st place internationally in the Institutional category for last year’s efforts!
My Green Labs and I2SL hosted the 2018 International Freezer Challenge see category winners here
Place Photo here
Worldwide recognition published through these media outlets:
Lab Manager Magazine, Cold Storage March 2019
Published article with participants quoted for expert advice here
Nature Magazine feature published in Oct. 2018 (see attached PDF)
S-Labs highlights our achievements in their short-listed profiles here (PDF of short list attached)
Highlights from lab efforts in 2018
Achievements from researchers in the 2018 competition!
# of labs submitted score sheets
# of freezers/ refrigerators impacted
# of units defrosted and/or cleaned coils
# of units retired due to no longer needed
# of units replaced with a more efficient model
# of units that were cleaned out and/or removed samples
# of units where you updated or created new inventories
# of samples moved from colder to warmer storage
# of units created a searchable digital inventory
# of units containing a Barcoded inventory
# of units shared among research groups
# of researchers that registered labs
# of individual labs registered
Goal for this year is to DOUBLE last year’s participation of 45 labs in 17 buildings and energy reduction, which totaled an estimated 720 kWh/day from October 2017 through June 2018. The annual total of 262,800 kWh of electricity saved during the competition is the approximate equivalent of the yearly energy used by 25 typical U.S. homes.
We can repeat the WIN; so far, the CDC is the only group to win twice in their division.
Think Globally- Act Locally
The final report submitted to the Student Sustainability Committee for the Freezer Challenge project. UIUC took first place in the 2018 International Laboratory Freezer Challenge Academic Organization category.Attached Files:
Click here to see this online
Hello everyone and Thank You to the many labs already registered!
The International Freezer Challenge is in full swing with an EXTENDED deadline thru JUNE 15th.
Approximately 25 labs have registered to participate in the Freezer Challenge. Reaching our goal of 50 labs participating will put the university in contention for first place in the academic organization category. Regardless, participation represents your commitment to environmental stewardship and supports the University of Illinois in reflecting our world-class standing.
All actions taken during the past school year are eligible for points and can be added to your score card
The Eco-Olympics student group is supporting the University of Illinois’ participation in the International Freezer Challenge and is pleased to provide the following awards.
The top (4) four Labs scoring the highest points during the competition will WIN $50 gift certificates to Silvercreek, Nando Milano’s or Biaggi’s restaurants.
Random drawings will be held giving away:
4- $25 Gift certificates to Silvercreek
4- $20 gift certificates to Courier Café
25-Coupons for free drinks at Espresso Royale
10-Coupons for free shake drinks at Courier Café
A HUGE Thank You to everyone for making these awards possible!
You can reach the Eco-Olympics team via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The main take away is that by utilizing best practices in sample management and storage, our labs increase their efficiency and sustainability.
Hello everyone, The International Freezer Challenge is in full swing thru April 30th. Help the University of Illinois compete while receiving recognition, and a certificate of leadership in Environmental Stewardship.
Registering to participate in the Freezer Challenge is a fun way to stay up-to-date with the latest in sample management, receive recognition for your efforts, and have fun while helping the University of Illinois maintain our world-class standing.
Take 20 sec's Register today!
All lab practices since May 2017 are eligible for points and can be added to your score card.
- Reducing energy consumption, costs, and environmental impact of the lab
- Learning and applying proper cold storage maintenance techniques to help avoid future failures
- Removing unneeded or unviable samples from cold storage units, allowing space to be consolidated or eliminated.
- Reducing costs associated with maintaining extraneous cold storage units.
- Improving researcher access to and security for viable samples.
- Developing ongoing cold storage management practices that support efficiency and maximize lab space utility.
- Awards & National recognition at the I2SL conference for the winning labs in each category
Increasing grant eligibility is another benefit according to How going green can raise cash for your lab a Nature International Journal of Science article, this quote shares an interesting perspective; Ramirez-Aguilar argues that implementing energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable lab practices can be a smart way for researchers to make their grants stand out. It might seem a small detail, but having such procedures in place could make all the difference to the success of your application. “If it makes your proposal look better,” she says, “you’re more likely to get funding.”
For more information contact Paul Foote @ email@example.com F&S Energy Services
U of I Campus Labs Encouraged to Join
2018 International Freezer Challenge
Members of iSEE’s Energy Conservation & Building Standards Sustainability Working Advisory Team (ECBS SWATeam) invite U of I labs of all shapes and sizes to register for the International Laboratory Freezer Challenge, which uses friendly competition to optimize sustainability of freezer management in laboratories.
Any type of laboratory is eligible to participate by working at its own pace to implement optimal cold storage management practices that save energy. Participating labs from the Illinois campus will receive certificates of Leadership and Environmental Stewardship in Sustainable Laboratory Practices along with special recognition from iSEE at the annual Sustainability Week Celebration and find themselves one-step ahead toward Green Lab certification, a proposed program being discussed on campus and at iSEE. The competition awards include individual lab awards, organization awards and a picture in Nature!
Results from last year’s winners:
The organizational winners of the Freezer Challenge were:
- University of California San Diego
- Eli Lilly and Company
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
UC San Diego saved an estimated 500,000 kWh/year, Lilly saved an estimated 130,400 kWh/year, the CDC saved an estimated 367,400 kWh/year, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center saved an estimated 25,000 kWh/year.
The individual laboratory winners were:
- The Hoekstra Lab from Harvard University
- The Baker Lab from Eli Lilly and Company
- The Elemental Analysis Laboratory from the CDCP
The Hoekstra Lab saved an estimated 13,000 kWh/year, the Baker Lab saved an estimated 34,000 kWh/year, and the Elemental Analysis Laboratory saved an estimated 64,500 kWh/year.
Visit the iCAP Portal for more information on last year’s event
Registration is ongoing through April 30th 2018 More details can be found on the competition website >>>
Registration is quick and you participate anytime throughout the semester!
Partial promotional support provided by the UIUC Student Sustainability Committee (SSC)
Questions can be sent to
Paul Foote, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
U of I, Freezer Challenge Site Coordinator
University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
Facilities and Services, Utilities and Energy Services
Energy Conservation and Retro-commissioning
In July 2017, the vendor with whom the UIUC campus had partnered for EPS recycling was purchased by another vendor that was not able to continue the partnership. Central funding for transporting EPS to drop-off locations ended. Departments that had been participating in the Styrecycle program will be notified of the changed circumstances and will be encouraged to arrange their own transporation of EPS to the drop-off location at Dart Container, 1505 E. Main St., Urbana. There is no charge to drop off EPS at Dart. F&S is exploring options to provide an EPS recycling location on campus.
The following content was replaced with new program information on Oct. 15, 2017:
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) now recycles expanded polystyrene (EPS), more commonly known by its brand name Styrofoam. By recycling this bulky material, we can reduce the volume of waste sent from campus to landfills and avoid the harmful environmental impacts of that practice.
The Styrecycle program was started in Fall 2015 and partnered with Community Resource Inc. (CRI) to bring EPS recycling to the UIUC campus. Our program can help you do your part to reduce the volume of waste campus sends to landfill — waste which will never biodegrade.
To find out more about Styrecycle, you can visit our website at: http://sustainability.illinois.edu/campus-sustainability/actionsinitiatives/styrecycle/
Or Like us on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Styrecycle
the densifier was picked up from the off-campus location at Midwest Fiber on Friday (September 22, 2017) and is currently in storage at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC)