Lab Shutdown Tips

Lab Energy Shutdown Tips

This resource was created during the COVID-19 crisis to assist Cornell lab managers in quickly identifying energy-saving measures during a reduced research schedule.

March 18th, 2020: Email from Rick Burgess, Vice President of Facilities & Campus Services, "Fume Hood Hibernation Protocol for COVID-19"

Looking for shutdown tips for offices, residential communities, and other spaces?  Read this guide.

Lab Energy Ramp Down Checklist

Use this checklist to quickly ramp down energy use during reduced research schedules. To get started, make a checklist of equipment that can be temporarily "decommissioned" including computers, equipment, refrigerators, freezers, and fume hoods.  Use post-it notes to quickly canvas your lab space and identify items that can be powered down to save energy.

✔️ Staff Notes

    Turn off / unplug lab equipment
    Disconnect unused equipment to reduce electrical plug load




    Turn off / unplug computers, printers, and copiers
    Disconnect unused equipment to reduce electrical plug load. 


    Turn off / unplug hot plates
    Disconnect unused equipment to reduce electrical plug load. 


    Consolidate materials, turn off unneeded deep freezers and refrigerators
    Consolidate materials to maintain samples more efficiently


    Ensure appropriate refrigeration temperatures
    Set temperatures at appropriate levels instead of the lowest possible temp.


   Identify fume hoods for hibernation, submit service requests
   Hibernating fume hoods is one of the top ways to reduce energy use  


   Shut fume hood sashes
   For all fume hoods which will not be hibernated. 
   Every 3 months, an open fume hood uses ~1 home’s annual energy use 


   Turn off lights
   Ensure all lab lighting is turned off before leaving spaces

Hibernate Fume Hoods

Fume hoods use nearly half of our total campus energy.  Hibernating fume hoods during the research reduction is one of the top ways to reduce energy use and costs, and lower the campus carbon footprint.

Identifying Fume Hoods for Hibernation

Any fume hood not in-use for six weeks or more is a candidate for hibernation. 

  • All flammable chemicals in storage cabinets must be tightly sealed. No broken caps, leaking, or incompatible chemicals stored near each other. Only small quantities of corrosive chemicals in ventilated cabinets can be stored. Direct questions about chemical storage and use to AskEHS.

  • Shut the sash completely on all fume hoods not hibernated.

Initiate a Service Request

Lab personnel must inform their facility coordinator that they have fume hoods that are candidates for hibernation. 

  • Facility coordinators submit a service request to FCS and indicate that the request go to Central Zone Controls Shop for correct budget charge.

  • Clearly mark fume hoods for hibernation with a post-it note or sign to help staff quickly complete the high volume of requests during this time. 

Resuming Activities

Have your facility coordinator issue a service request to have the hood “un-hibernated.”