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NIH Environmental Management System

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Freezer Management

The NIH freezer management program details how to manage freezers to increase freezer reliability and reduce energy consumption.

The NIH Freezer Management Training Video, below, gives an overview of the entire freezer management program at the NIH. This video is approximately 10 minutes long.



NIH Manual Chapter 26101-16 details how to manage ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezers at the NIH to increase freezer reliability and decrease energy consumption. 

Manual Chapter 26101-16 Overview

The NIH will preserve and protect research materials in cold storage in an energy efficient manner. 

This policy:​

(1) Requires the selection of energy efficient ULT freezers when acquiring new units;

(2) Requires all ULT freezers to be listed in the NIH Business System, and when no longer needed, disposed of according to property disposal requirements;

(3) Requires regular maintenance to be performed on all ULT freezers; and

(4) Directs the placement of ULT freezers in locations that are adequately ventilated, temperature controlled, and away from excessive foot-traffic.

This policy further establishes the procedures for the inspection of NIH facilities to ensure compliance with this policy; to note deficiencies; and to remedy non-compliant occurrences.​

NIH Freezer Challenge 

The NIH is challenging labs to go beyond the NIH Freezer Policy to further reduce energy consumption and operating costs from freezers at the NIH.  Labs are provided with challenge initiatives and each lab can choose what inititiaves they will undertake.  For more information on the challenge and how you can participate, visit the NIH Freezer Challenge Page

Special Thanks

The Office of Research Facilities with generous unwavering support from Institutes and Centers and entities within the Office of the Director developed Manual Chapter 26101-16. Many thanks to all those who supported this effort.​​


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