January 2011
Article
AutomatedBuildings.com

Innovations in Comfort, Efficiency, and Safety Solutions.
Belimo

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See How Your Building is Performing - Anywhere, Anytime
Easy to integrate web app offers a creative way to show building performance and educate about sustainable initiatives.
Sarah Erdman,
Marketing Director,
QA Graphics
serdman@qagraphics.com

A
s the importance of building efficiency remains at the top of the list for 2011, so does the need for occupants and the public to be involved with an organization’s sustainable efforts.  Maintaining an efficient facility requires an effort from everyone, and education is key to facilitating this awareness.  Many facilities have systems in place to access complex building performance data, but to get occupants on the efficiency bandwagon, that data must be easy to understand.  Providing education and showing occupants how their actions directly impact building efficiency can reduce overall resource consumption. 

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A solution that provides both data and education is QA Graphics’ Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard. It’s an interactive application, similar to a website, which creatively shows real-time building performance data and educates about sustainable practices in place at an organization.  The building performance data is easily understand by occupants and also serves as source of quick data for the facilities team. The application can be accessed anywhere, anytime.  And with the recent release of version 2.0, a web service can be written to access the building data for display, eliminating the need for a hardware device to relay the building information.

As a fully standalone web-based application, it can be integrated into any IT framework, eliminating many security roadblocks.  It runs as a standalone client or software as a service with no browser constraints, allowing the data and education components to be accessed from anywhere, anytime, as long as the application is installed somewhere on a web server with PHP5 (this can be a range of places including on hardware in a building lobby, like a touch screen or kiosk, on a desktop computer, or a web-hosted environment). With the flexibility of v2.0, the solution is offered as a product with no recurring fees, but can also be provided as a software as a service solution similar to other monitoring dashboards.

Control Solutions, Inc The Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard pulls data that is available from a facility’s existing building automation system or meters and then displays it in an easy to understand format.   The data can be shown in hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly increments, and can be compared to relevant industry standards, such as an energy model, energy portfolio, Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) or other building goals.    A number of educational elements can be used to teach about an organization’s sustainable initiatives, including demonstrations, interactive quizzes, a checklist explaining how LEED®, Green Globes®, Energy Star, and other certifications were achieved, campus view maps, green tips and more.  To further motivate occupants, a friendly competition to conserve resources can be created with a leaderboard that shows an ongoing comparison of resource use among multiple buildings or floors within a building. 

Providing occupants with this education and direct feedback about a building’s resource use is a trend that will continue to increase.  It can also help earn points under several green building certification programs. Education solutions such as the Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard can contribute towards satisfying the U.S. Green Building Council’s® Innovation in Design Green Education and Innovation in Design School as a Teaching Tool credits under LEED®, and a variety of points under The Green Building Initiative’s™ Green Globes® green building rating and assessment system.  When used in conjunction with other efforts, the solution can achieve up to 34 points under the Continual Improvement of Existing Buildings track, and up to 27 points can be achieved under the New Construction track for Green Globes. 

QA Graphics’ Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard has been utilized in over 400 buildings. To learn more about how an educational dashboard can be used to display building performance data and sustainable education that is accessible anywhere, anytime, visit: http://www.qagraphics.com/eeed or contact serdman@qagraphics.com.

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