Diagnosing 'Sick' Buildings to Save Energy
Are you feeling too cold right now? Too warm? Is your office's air a little stale today? On average, Americans spend 90 percent of the day indoors, in a controlled environment. Controlling that environment, at least in the workplace, is the Sisyphean labor of building operators. “Operating” a building requires not only striking the perfect balance between heating, cooling and ventilation, but also repairing and maintaining all of the equipment and systems that allow this magical equilibrium to exist. Endlessly pushing a boulder up a hill might actually be less work. As part of a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, researchers from Drexel University are working on a cloud-based data analysis tool that could help consolidate these labors while also spotting undetected problems that lead to wasted energy and poor indoor environmental quality.