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Higher education campuses leading the way for global sustainability

Image of Shayne Taker
Shayne Taker

Imagine you’re an Ivy League university with a sprawling campus. Across acres of historical land, numerous buildings serve many needs of students, faculty, staff, and your surrounding community. The rich history of your prestigious institution and the promise of an exciting future of innovation are on full display throughout your campus as historical landmarks and cutting-edge facilities paint a modern picture of one of the world’s greatest academic institutions. Within these buildings are technologies and monitoring tools that range from legacy systems to state-of-the-art Internet of Things (IoT) innovations.

As a leading educational institution, the world’s eyes are on you to play a pivotal role in addressing global challenges. As such, leadership has called upon the entire institution to play a leadership role in improving global sustainability and overcoming the challenges of climate change. While the effort is an all-hands-on-deck approach, your physical campus plays an integral part in successful achievement of your goals. Except, where do you begin?

You might start by exploring options to improve the efficiency of your energy consumption to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For higher education facilities like yours with a complex and dynamic ecosystem of buildings, systems, and technologies – a pivotal starting point is improving upon data quality, enhancing automated reporting capabilities, and benchmarking consumption to inform broader upgrade strategies and prioritizing the modernization of your energy management system (EMS).

The complexity and volume of these systems across your campus can lead to roadblocks that make achieving your goals difficult. You need an effective solution that allows you to maintain control of your existing data. But you also need an innovative solution that enables you to future-proof for technological advances that push the boundaries on efficiency capabilities. This requires integrating all your building data across the building systems on your campus into a single source of truth with an architecture that can support new systems at the building level. Your architecture will also need to allow third-party platforms to access data so that you and your stakeholders can continue to understand and visualize building performance.

Historically, this has been a daunting task that, at a minimum, is time-consuming and, many times, nearly impossible. Whether it’s to reduce the time required to consolidate meter data between multiple platforms and buildings or to simplify the process of tracking utilities, accessing reliable and usable data from the vast amounts of sources on your university campus poses a significant barrier to accomplishing sustainability goals.

But, as a leading higher education institution, you know a better solution exists. So, you team up with Buildings IOT to leverage innovative system technologies and solutions to make the impossible possible. 
Because there is always a change-management component to any new process or system, Buildings IOT helps you define and execute a phased approach to building system integration. This allows you to bring your interdepartmental colleagues along incrementally while achieving small wins in the process. You start with an initial focus on meter data to solve specific problems of data quality and tenant billing. Then, using that meter data, you benchmark buildings by consumption.  That consumption analysis then informs site selection for more detailed integration to HVAC system data and, in turn, capital funding requests for more involved retrofit projects.

As part of the execution of your phased approach to building system integration, you leverage the industry’s most cutting-edge independent data layer, IOT Jetstream. IOT Jetstream models, maps, and normalizes your building data into a single GraphQL API to allow your building and meter data to be accessed and managed from third-party platforms and accounting systems your university uses. This means accessing and controlling your building data in real time so that people like your billing department and software developers can leverage quality data to capture, track, and refine data output.

IOT Jetstream allows all your meter, equipment, sensor, and performance data to come together into onPoint. With onPoint, the once manually intensive process of analyzing and assessing your energy consumption is now presented through widgets, dashboards, and reports. These features empower everyone from traditional facility management teams and accounting teams to new-wave energy and sustainability teams with the capability to elevate campus performance to technology-driven efficiency.

The tradition and provenance that makes your university the institutional leader it is today were built steadily over years of dedication to breaking new ground through proven research and knowledge transfer methods. As you pioneer global sustainability efforts, your partnership with Buildings IOT enables you to combat climate change similarly. As a result of your efforts, stakeholders responsible for championing this effort across your institution gain incredible access to improved data quality, enhanced automated reporting capabilities, and consumption benchmarking that helps you strategically inform future phases of your tiered approach to campus sustainability.

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