January 21, 2014

Pharmacology lab named VUMC "Go Green for the Holidays" contest winner

Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Plant Services and the Sustainability and Environmental Management Office (SEMO) announced that energy conservation measures taken during the VUMC Go Green for the Holidays and the VU campus Energy Bowl contest resulted in more than $200,000 in energy savings.

The Pharmacology laboratory on the 4th floor of Preston Research building under the direction of H. Alex Brown, Ph.D., professor of Pharmacology, is this year’s VUMC energy conservation contest winner. As a result of their efforts, the entire 4th floor of Preston Research Building will receive a pizza party.

Because the University’s official Christmas and New Year’s holidays fell mid-week, laboratories located in Light Hall, Robinson Research Building, Preston Research Building, MRB III, MRB IV and Medical Center North were encouraged to take advantage of the extended period of lower than normal occupancy and reduce energy consumption by turning off lights, lowering thermostats, closing fume hood sashes and turning off lab equipment and computers.

A panel of judges from Plant Services, SEMO, and Vanderbilt Environmental Health and Safety (VEHS) conducted random, unannounced surveys during both weeks of the contest to determine the winner. Brown’s Pharmacology lab scored an impressive 71.8 out of 100 points by turning off all the lights and computers in the lab, setting the thermostats to 65 degrees, closing all but one fume hood sash and leaving only just a few pieces of lab equipment running.

Honorable mentions for the contest include the lab of Seok-Kyung Kim, Ph.D., research assistant professor of Pediatrics, on the 4th floor of MRB III, and the lab of John Williams, M.D., associate professor of Pediatrics,  on the 7th floor of MCN.

“As a result of the excellent participation by our research faculty and staff in the holiday energy savings contest, the Medical Center saved significant utility costs in just a few weeks with what we hope will become actions that they decide to take throughout the year to benefit the environment and VUMC as a whole,” said Ken Browning, assistant vice chancellor for Facilities and Construction.

For more information about how to conserve energy at Vanderbilt year-round not just in lab areas but office, classroom and patient care areas, please visit SustainVU’s ThinkOne website.

For more information about the “Go Green for the Holidays” contest or to contact SEMO, please call Tiffany Renfro at 322-9022 or email tiffany.renfro@vanderbilt.edu.