How a dashboard helps drive energy savings

The following post is by Tim Cox:

Lucid has partnered with the Seattle 2030 District to provide energy, water and transportation tracking to commercial buildings in downtown Seattle. As of June 2012, 103 buildings—representing over 29 million square feet of office space—have joined the Seattle 2030 District, a high-performance building district that aims for a 50 percent reduction in energy, water and transportation emissions by 2030.

Already, the District has seen substantial progress toward its goals:

• 8.4 percent energy reduction compared to the national average

• 2.3 percent water reduction

• 11.4 percent reduction in CO2 from transportation

To accurately track resource use and progress, participants are using Lucid’s Building Dashboard platform. This Web-based technology offers buildings owners and facility managers an integrated system for monitoring energy, water and transit data. Armed with improved transparency and goal setting facilitated by the Building Dashboard, building managers can engage tenants and occupants in a building’s conservation actions. Already, efficiency opportunities such as plug loads and behavior change—factors that have historically not been included in green-building initiatives— are being successfully implemented and measured.

Additionally, the Dashboard allows the District as a whole to track aggregated performance of all buildings. Energy and resource efficiency look very different at a building level than at a district or city scale. By focusing on improving the entire portfolio the District can focus its resources and initiatives on those that represent the best opportunities for improvement and associated payback. The District’s Building Dashboard also allows buildings to share data publicly and compare their building with its peers, adding an element of competition and knowledge sharing to the commercial building world.

Tim Cox is the founder and principal of ZingPR, a public relations firm based in Woodside, Calif.