Sustainability office to release new software

Starting this fall, the sustainability office at Wilfrid Laurier University will be implementing a new sub-metering software called the building dashboard — or also referred to as just ‘Lucid’ — which is a program created by the California-based company Lucid Design Group.

“Lucid [building dashboard] is basically supplemental software for energy awareness, more than anything, so what happens is that a university or institution will outfit all their buildings with sub-meters,” explained Claire Bennett, the sustainability co-ordinator at WLU. “All of our buildings are going to be sub-metered so we accurately capture our utility consumption and that is in regards to water, natural gas and electricity.”

The building dashboard is a website that allows anyone to view the consumption of any individual Laurier building, as well as the ability to isolate certain floors to see their particular consumption. The website will also have a discussion forum and social media aspects to it.

“It has a visual way of showing real-time data, so it shows what a building is using in dollars, kilowatts and also in [carbon dioxide], so you can see the direct green house affect,” continued Bennett.

The website has already been launched but no data is being processed at the moment. Electricity measuring will be set up this September, whereas Bennett hopes to have gas and water measured by November.

Bennett wants to utilize this software to encourage students, especially first-years in residence, to be more aware of the environment and energy consumption. To do that, she is going to create competitions between residences, where the residence with the best score will receive a prize.

As well, each residence’s house council will have a sustainability representative that will help encourage these competitions and bring awareness to the new program.

According to Bennett, WLU is well on its way of becoming a leader in energy management. Becoming the second university in Canada to take on an initiative like this, WLU will also be most comprehensive.

“So most universities, or a vast majority, only have electricity done and this isn’t really through all of their buildings,” said Bennett. “Once this is all done we’re going to have the most comprehensive sub-metering program through Lucid than any other university in North America. It’s very exciting.”

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