Lucid Design Group, which supplies energy monitoring and display systems for buildings, has announced the Building Dashboard Network, which it describes as the first social network for buildings!
The software allows people to go online and view and compare real-time information on electricity, water and natural gas use, as well as the performance of renewable energy systems. It’s all displayed on graphs and animated gauges, including kilowatt-hours, cost and carbon dioxide emissions. As well as online, the idea is to also show the data on touch screen displays in buildings.
Lucid has lots of experience in monitoring systems which it has apparently installed in hundreds of buildings across the US. The company says that the feedback it produces has helped institutions reduce consumption by 5%-20% on a long-term basis. The new product is based on the company’s existing Building Dashboard but with lots of new widgets and apps, including third-party applications like Google Maps and integration with Facebook and Twitter.
I like this idea. Real-time energy consumption information (e.g. through smart meters) can help reduce power use and emissions, but adding a potential competitive aspect should magnify the impact. As Michael Murray, Lucid’s CEO said: “Now buildings, companies and schools will feature their own profile pages with real-time energy and water use data. You can easily search for buildings, compare performance and set up energy reduction competitions across the Building Dashboard Network.”
In fact Lucid is also working with smart meter providers and utilities to make the technology available to residential customers, so you can have competitions with neighbours in similar houses, etc. Very useful.
On the other hand, I’m not sure about the integration with Facebook and Twitter – it’s bad enough getting inane tweets from people, let alone buildings. Perhaps that’s just me.