QA Graphics Simplifies Display of Live Building Data with Cloud-Ready Tool

| November 15, 2010

QA Graphics announces the release of version 2.0 of their Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard (EEED), an interactive solution used by organizations to display real-time building data and educate occupants on sustainable building practices. Version 2.0 is a fully standalone web-based application that can be integrated into any IT framework, eliminating many security roadblocks.

The EEED is now a fully encapsulated application that runs as a standalone client or software as a service with no browser constraints. QA Graphics chose to develop the application to run on an Adobe Integrated Runtime platform, Adobe AIR, because it doesn't require the use of multiple software or third-party resources and is capable of cloud computing. The data is fully encrypted as it's transferred across the network, and because of its adaptability, the application is configurable to any network, resulting in fewer integration obstacles. The EEED can also be used across multiple operating systems including hardware solutions, desktops and mobile devices.

QA Graphics' Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard is broken into several components, each of which has been significantly updated:

  • Gateway: The Gateway is a device specifically designed for the EEED to communicate with a building automation system or metering device to access real-time building data that is then relayed to QA Graphics' Data Manager. The Gateway can communicate with multiple protocols simultaneously now, including: BACnet IP, BACnet MS/TP, LON, Modbus RTU, and Modbus TCP.
  • Data Manager: The Data Manager is a fully encapsulated web-based application that collects the live building data to distribute it both internally and externally for viewing on the Dashboard. The Data Manager is the central communication hub between the Dashboard, Gateway and database which stores the building data. Version 2.0 of this application allows it to poll any web server and make the data available through the encapsulated web service. It automatically provides the Dashboard with real-time information and configures the database to accept this new data. Previously, the EEED could poll real-time building data to display it in weekly/daily/monthly/yearly increments; with v2.0, hourly data is also available. Displaying baseline building data has also been simplified, making it easier and faster to compare actual building data to relevant industry standards. Users can upload their own baseline data in a CSV file, which could contain data from an energy model, energy portfolio, Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) or other building goals. 
  • Dashboard: The Dashboard is the final display for viewers, consisting of a series of graphical user interface (GUI) screens that creatively display the organization's energy efficiencies/green features. The light application can be installed anywhere with a web server with PHP5 installed, whether that be on QA Graphics' all-in-one hardware solutions, other hardware, desktops already in place at an organization, or a web-hosted environment. The graphs and charts on the final display are fully customizable, providing advanced data visualization.

A number of educational modules have been developed or enhanced, including educational demonstrations, green feature pages, interactive quizzes, checklists displaying how LEED certification was achieved, monitoring graphs to display real-time water/electric/gas use, etc., weather widgets, campus view maps, green tips, leaderboards and more. Other modules allow the application to serve as an overall building display, including advertising space, area attractions maps, building directories, building floor plan maps, calendar systems, menus and more. Also new to v2.0 is an updated content management system designed to be more user-friendly, allowing the end-user to easily update much of the content and images.

QA Graphics has always offered the Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard as a product to provide its customers with full control of the application and data. With the flexibility of version 2.0, the application continues to be offered as a product, but it also allows QA Graphics' business partners to offer the EEED as a software as a service solution to their customers.

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