Building Dashboard provides new teaching and learning opportunities

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Building Dashboard provides new teaching and learning opportunities

March 1, 2010

Middlebury College recently installed a Building Dashboard touch screen system by Lucid Design Group in the Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest. This system allows people to monitor, visualize, and contextualize resource use in real time. Animated graphs and the ability to convert data to miles driven in a car or number of hours a laptop is left running, make the Dashboard an engaging and informative way to process complex information. In addition to the touch screen in the Franklin Environmental Center, people can view the dashboard online.

How It Works

Director of Sustainability Integration Office
shows how the Dashboard works

The Building Dashboard monitors and displays building performance data gathered through Middlebury’s building automation system. This allows the Dashboard to take real-time data from a variety of sources and display it in an educational and user-friendly web-based platform. It provides both real-time and historical information about:

  • Solar electricity production from an 8 kW system on the roof
  • Electricity consumption
  • Water use
  • Steam heating energy
  • Weather information
  • Design features that helped achieve LEED Platinum certification from the US Green Building Council

Managing Resource Use

The Dashboard shows patterns of usage over the previous 24 hours, week, month, and current or previous year. For more detailed data, users with a password can access the Data Downloader module.  Facilities staff, and others, can use the building dashboard to see if the building is following its usual usage patterns and to detect if something in a building isn’t working properly in the building’s mechanical systems.

Data Downloader Module
Middlebury’s Dashboard includes a Data Downloader module, which allows students and faculty to access data from the resource monitoring system.  The Data Downloader is a valuable research tool for students and faculty interested in studying how well a LEED Platinum certified building performs over time and how the behavior of individuals in the building can affect that performance.

Helping Move Toward Carbon Neutrality
Middlebury College has a longstanding commitment to leadership in sustainability. In 2007 it set an ambitious goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2016. In 2009 it reduced its carbon emissions by 40% with the start up of a biomass gasification combined heat and power system. Middlebury is also focusing on improving building efficiency on campus and developing strategies to address behavior patterns to improve conservation. The Building Dashboard is a useful tool for staff, faculty and students to learn how to do this more effectively.

To obtain a password for the data downloader or for more information contact the Sustainability Integration Office, Jack Byrne, or Eva Fillion