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Projects Updates for place: Roger Adams Laboratory

  1. Styrofoam recycling communications


    Good afternoon!


    Info sharing...


    Sad day for local Styrofoam recycling.  🙁  Dart Corp is closing at the end of this year.  They reached out to me to request that I update our website info re: Styrofoam recycling.


    He said the Styrofoam drop-off will remain open until Friday, Sept 29th.



    Dart Container closing Urbana plant by end of year; 135 jobs to be lost

    Company said it will provide offers of severance and job placement assistance to workers currently employed; Urbana police were asked by Dart to stand by at a company employee meeting


    Please forward this to whoever you think would be interested in knowing.


  2. Foam Compacting Machine Location and Status

    On August 7, 2023 Amy Rosenbery sent the following email:

    Hi Morgan!

    I’m working on our inventory and the Foam Compacting machine that Ben purchased in 2015 is on our list.

    Do you know if this equipment went to ISTC? I don’t know who has this or where it’s located. It used to be on the 2nd floor here at NSRC but it’s not there anymore.



    On August 9, 2023 Morgan White replied:


    Hi Amy,


    That Styrofoam machine was transferred to a different non-profit in Illinois, by ISTC.  Joe Pickowitz and Shantanu Pai were involved in getting it moved form ISTC to the other non-UIUC facility.





    Amy replied:

    Hi Morgan!

    That’s what I thought. I found an email about it going to Community Resource, Inc. in Urbana so I looked them up and the place is permanently closed now.

    The equipment is still showing up on iSEE’s inventory.

    Thanks for your help!



  3. I2SL Winner Announcement

    Associated Project(s): 

    Below is the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories Winners for Sustainable Achievements. UIUC was awarded excellence for the following. 

    Excellence Winners in the Renovation/Retrofit Category

    • Excellence in Energy Efficiency: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Materials Research Laboratory Renovation
    • Excellence in Energy and Water Efficiency: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign-Holonyak Micro & Nanotechnology Lab Renovation


    I2SL Recognizes Winners for Sustainable Achievements

    This year, the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) was excited to launch the new Sustainable Laboratory Awards Program to acknowledge leading people, projects, and programs in the sustainable lab community. As part of the new program, I2SL recognized eight buildings or projects for their achievements in new construction, renovation/retrofit, or adaptive reuse.

    Two projects, both submitted in the New Construction category, won Sustainable Laboratory Awards for demonstrating overall sustainability and efficiency:

    • The Universities at Shady Grove Biomedical Sciences & Engineering Education Facility, submitted by Cooper Carry, incorporated many impressive features, including sustainable building materials, waste diversion, air quality management, natural ventilation, and daylighting, resulting in a very low energy use intensity.
    • The new Merck Research Laboratory in South San Francisco, submitted by Jacobs, showcases an integrated design that focuses on indoor air quality and waste reduction, and they maintain building performance with a sustainability dashboard.

    We receive many great applications this year, so to recognize additional teams for their efforts, I2SL awarded a series of awards for buildings and projects that excelled in one particular area.

    Excellence Winners in the New Construction Category

    • Excellence in Decarbonization: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Integrative Genomics Building
    • Excellence in Climate Resiliency: Webster University, Interdisciplinary Science Building
    • Excellence in Waste Reduction, Recycling, and Diversion: Wanhua Global Research Center

    Excellence Winners in the Renovation/Retrofit Category

    • Excellence in Energy Efficiency: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Materials Research Laboratory Renovation

    • Excellence in Energy and Water Efficiency: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign-Holonyak Micro & Nanotechnology Lab Renovation

    Excellence Winner in the Adaptive Reuse Category

    • Excellence in Adaptive Reuse: o2h co-work labs

    Winners were recognized on October 18 at the 2022 I2SL Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. You can find all the winners on our website and check out the Programs and Initiatives winners in an upcoming issue of the Sustainability Scoop. I2SL thanks all the winners for their commitment to sustainable, efficient, and safe laboratories around the world and congratulates them for their achievements!


  4. FC Standings

    Associated Project(s): 

    UIUC was within top 4 for energy savings in the Freezer Challenge this year among academic organizations. 

    And, in the top 2 in terms of normalized points earned. UAB beat UIUC in both categories this year, with over 100 labs participating from their campus. 

  5. FC Standings

    Associated Project(s): 

    UIUC was within top 4 for energy savings in the Freezer Challenge this year among academic organizations. 

    And, in the top 2 in terms of normalized points earned. UAB beat UIUC in both categories this year, with over 100 labs participating from their campus. 

  6. 2022 Freezer Challenge Results

    Associated Project(s): 

    From: Foote, Gerard Paul <gfoote2 at>
    Sent: Friday, August 12, 2022 4:01 PM

    Subject: Urgent poll for photo shoot & 2022 Freezer Challenge results


    Hello Everyone,

    Congratulations, on another world-class performance and international recognition in the 2022 International Freezer Challenge!

    You have reduced over 290,000 kWh’s annually, an energy cost savings of over $25,500, which is our second highest results since participating in this competition and has earned the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign an Honorable Mention in the 2022 Freezer Challenge!

    Yes, I know this is not the same as first place or even the innovative Winning Streak Award that we helped create, but it is a testament to our world-class example and leadership in sustainable laboratory practices in research sample cold-storage management.

    Most importantly, your continued efforts, participation and documenting these lab practices reflects efficient adoption and implementation of sustainable laboratory practices that have long lasting impacts once incorporated into the labs day-to-day operations.

    On a side note: My competitive side suspects that we once again may have outperformed or at least participated in the top tier of participating universities worldwide, more follow up to come.


    Please add your availability in this When2Meet calendar:  by August 19th 2022 deadline?


    FYI- The overall impacts are still being accumulated and will be shared in a campus wide media release and mass email.  

    The rules now state we are only able to be recognized for 1st place or the Winning Streak Award if previous winners surpass their previous year’s energy savings calculations and while we achieved are second highest reductions to date, overall it was not higher than last year’s reductions of over 383,000 kWh’s.


    Thank you 

    Paul Foote

    Think Globally. Act Locally

    Energy Efficiency and Conservation Specialist
    University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
    F&S Energy Services Retrocommissioning

    Email: gfoote2 at

    Office: 217-244-1048


  7. Spring 2022: iSEE Quarterly Update (iQ)

    The Spring 2022 iSEE Quarterly Update (iQ) was released with the following message from Madhu Khanna, the Interim Director of iSEE:


    Greetings Colleagues,


    Attached, please find the Spring 2022 edition of iQ, our quarterly update. You will see that in this six-page pdf recapping the recent semester, we had plenty of news and updates from our research, education, events, and campus sustainability fronts.


    But the work did not end there! Since the semester ended, we have had two other exciting announcements:


    • The U of I campus was rewarded with the only USDA NIFA “Farm of the Future” grant. Our I-FARM project will be an 80-acre testbed for merging technology, sensing, and agronomy into a farm setting with crops and livestock that will be productive and profitable. Read our June 1 news release >>>
    • In addition, for the fifth consecutive time, our campus reached Gold-level status in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) run by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). New solar and geothermal energy projects, a reduction in water use, and wide-ranging sustainability research helped us reach this level yet again. Read the May 25 news release >>>


    For more up-to-date news from iSEE, please sign up for our E-newsletter at


    Best wishes for a healthy and productive summer,




    Attached Files: 
  8. UIUC Freezer Challenge in R&D World Magazine

    Associated Project(s): 

    Becky Chambers Hennessy, writer of R&D World magazine, wrote a Q&A style piece on UIUC's "Winning Streak Award" for the International Freezer Challenge. The piece contains answers from Deborah S. Katz-Downie, Martin Gruebele, and Paul Foote. The piece can be found here.

  9. 2021 Freezer Challenge Results

    Associated Project(s): 

    For the second year in a row, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign won the "Winning Streak Award" for earning the most points and saving the most kWh/year of any academic institution. This is the fourth year in a row we have topped the academic sector list! UIUC estimated annual energy savings was at 383,615 kWh's or approximately $32,262.

    All of the freezer challenge winners can be found here.

  10. 2021 Freezer Challenge Recap & Summary

    Associated Project(s): 

    In the 2021 Freezer Challenge, 222 labs participated from over 100 different research institutions across 17 countries. The combined efforts of the scientists and labs saved 4.6 million kWh of electricity over the past year, which is the equivalent of reducing carbon emissions by 3,260 metric tons. 

    Based on the U of I's submitted scoresheets (33 in total), the combined actions of the university saved a total of 1051 kWh/day across multiple labs throughout campus. 

  11. iWG Meeting 7-22-21

    The iCAP Working Group met on 7-22-21. Attached are the meeting minutes. The agenda was as follows: 

    1. Introductions
    2. Energy006
      1. Update on Freezer Challenge (Paul Foote) ~4 min
      2. Update on Greener Labs Inventory Toolkit (Morgan White) ~4 min
      3. Energy Team introduce the recommendation (Bill Rose, Andy Stumpf) ~8 min
      4. Group discussion ~10 min
    3. Energy007
      1. Overview of Energy Management Plan (Rob Roman) ~6 min
      2. Energy Team introduce the recommendation (Bill Rose, Andy Stumpf) ~8 min
      3. Group discussion ~45 min
        1. Should the scope only utilize existing technology?
        2. Do we want project-specific preliminary costs or prorated estimates based on historical costs?
        3. Does this document need stakeholder engagement?
        4. This is for meeting the 2050 iCAP goal.
        5. Should this document include net-zero space aspects or should it utilize an anticipated growth percentage?
        6. How does deferred maintenance interact with this plan?
        7. What scenarios would we like to see? For example, what if every new building on campus had to be net-zero energy?
    4. Overview of vision for iCAP Teams this academic year (Meredith Moore) ~5 min
      1. Enhanced interaction about the iCAP
      2. Standard recommendations from topical teams – encourage small-scale recommendations that will get to more campus units/groups
      3. Active participation at Campus Sustainability Celebration – afternoon of 10/20/21
      4. Increase connections with other groups – Student Affairs, SSLC, etc.
    Attached Files: 
  12. Archived Info - Previous Project Description

    Dart Container at 1505 E. Main St., Urbana, accepts expanded polystyrene (EPS), more commonly known by its brand name Styrofoam, for recycling. Departments are encouraged to take EPS there to recycle this bulky material. By doing so, we can reduce the volume of waste sent from campus to landfills and avoid the harmful environmental impacts of that practice. There is no charge to drop off EPS at Dart for recycling.

    There is currently no central funding source to pay for transportation of EPS to Dart, so departments need to arrange transport independently.

    The drop-off location is in a fenced-in area of the Dart parking lot and may be accessed 24 hours a day. Dart accepts foam packaging (except for packaging peanuts), foam cups, foam egg cartons, foam meat trays, foam ice chests, and other foam products that fall within these guidelines:

    • Make sure foam has the #6 chasing arrows symbol on it.
    • Deposit foam in a clear or translucent bag (large bags are provided at the drop-off site).
    • Rinse or wipe foodservice containers free from food.
    • Remove straws, lids, tape or any other non-foam material.
    • Do not include foam-packaging peanuts.

    From fall 2015 until summer 2017, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) ran the Styrecycle program in partnership with Community Resource Inc. (CRI). Ownership of CRI changed in July 2017, and the new owner was not able to continue the program.

  13. 2021 International Freezer Challenge

    Associated Project(s): 


    Research, managing labs, and personnel keeping you busy? No worries!

    International Freezer Challenge Coordinators can enter your lab's information and the cold-storage sample management efforts you have made during the past year.

    Any changes, upgrades, cleaning out, defrostings, filter cleanings, and reductions to freezer/refrigerators can all be added to your score sheets. 

    Sample management, reductions, inventory creation or changes and upgrades, as well as, increasing room-temperature sample-storage inventory are all actions that increase your score and reduce the environmental impact of your lab operations.

    All actions in sample management you have made since August 2020 help your lab improve environmental impact, reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption, and are eligible to boost your lab and UIUC's overall point totals in the 2021 International Freezer Challenge.

    If you would like us to register your lab and complete your score sheet?

    • Send a completed copy of the linked word document with your action items, or send a request for assistance to
    • If requesting assistance, we will arrange a time to meet with you and gather the necessary information to complete your lab's registration and scorecard.

    Help UIUC defend our 1st place international standing and win the opportunity to be highlighted and have your photo in NATURE magazine!

    For more information and questions about the International Freezer Challenge, please contact Paul Foote, F&S energy efficiency and conservation specialist,, 217-244-1048.