Changing Behavior

Harvard University
Jacobsen Laboratory
Cambridge, Massachusetts

A key aspect of implementing sustainability measures is changing behavior –for instance, encouraging building users to think differently about how they use building features that have an impact of energy consumption. A good example of how this was done is at Harvard University’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. Much of the science research in the department requires the use of chemical fume hoods, for conducting experiments with potentially harmful materials. Fume hoods use a great deal of energy, however, given the need for continuous rates of exhaust. Traditionally, researchers have not focused on the need to reduce energy, and have often left fume hood sashes open, even while not in use, thereby continuing high exhaust rates.