Dashboard confessional: Green gadget keeps it's eye on energy use
Mandee Jackson/Sun Star Reporter
Nov. 15, 2011
The Building Dashboard debuted last week as a
new website where anyone can view the energy, heat and water usage for 20 buildings on the UAF campus. This website was financed by a funding proposal paid for with funds from the $20 per semester SIREN fee. The proposal, submitted in the spring of 2011, requested $129,712 to get it started.
The employees of the Office of Sustainability want to inform students of the energy being used and cut down on the costs for water, electricity, and steam.
According to the Office of Sustainability
, there are about 130 universities in the continental United States using this same program through California-based company Lucid Software Design.
Garrett Evridge, an employee with the Office of Sustainability, maintains UAF’s Building Dashboard.
“Each building has a sensor installed and it measures how much electricity, water and heating is being used. The sensors are also in real-time, therefore the information is updated every few seconds,” Evridge said. “So if you turn off a light, you could potentially see the difference right away,”
The user can view and compare the electricity, water and heat used in each building for the day, week, month or year. Clicking on the building name tells the reader about that building and its history. There’s a graph measured by hour and the user can view how much electricity is being pulsed through the building, how much Co2 is being exhausted from the building, and how much money is
spent powering the building total or
“It’s totally 100 percent accurate,” sustainability director Michele Hébert said, “The site was created with the intent of, if you give people access to information, it could change their behavior.”
The main goal of Building Dashboard is to educate students and save money. The Office of Sustainability is preparing a competition
to see which buildings can reduce the percentages of energy used.
“If we could just get a 10 percent reduction that would be very profitable,” Evridge said. This information will be displayed on interactive touch screens in the Moore-Bartlett-Skarland complex, Wood Center and the West Ridge Café.
This information is available at http://buildingdashboard.net/uaf/