UC Berkeley Campus Dashboard

PLEASE NOTE: In 2012, UC Berkeley launched an official energy dashboard through the myPower program.
FSM Cafe
Project Leads:
Sam Borgeson & Omar Khan

Project Location

Berkeley Institute of the Environment

TGIF Grant: $76,750

Project Theme: Energy Conservation & Efficiency

2008 Application Submission

Status: Complete

Project Description: This project developed a centralized database and website that aggregated a common and consistent set of resource consumption data (i.e. electricity, water, steam) for the UC Berkeley campus that is easily accessible for those interested in using or viewing the data. This data can be used to make recommendations for improving efficiency of the campus consumption of these resources. The data is updated and hosted through a web-based building dashboard.

Goals: Develop a standard for campus metrics that quantify the effectiveness of campus sustainability initiatives and create a tool to enable other projects to quantify their resource savings. Hold a campus competition that will reward creative uses of the data in support of campus sustainability goals. Promote the use of data for raising awareness of campus resource consumption, encouraging environmental behavior changes, setting baselines, and using the data for research and analysis. Reduce the personal hours required to monitor, measure, and standardize the campus consumption data. Assist UC Berkeley in reaching its Cal-CAP goals. Effectively reduce resource consumption by 5-20% for buildings with energy sub-metering.

As the old engineering rule of thumb states: "you can't manage what you don't measure."

TGIF Blog posts about the Campus Dashboard

2012 Project Poster

To see the different manifestations of the Berkeley Campus Dashboard, you can:

  • Visit the Free Speech Movement Café to learn how much electricity is being used in that space on your behalf. It features a colorful string of LEDs running up the side of a pillar that show the café's energy use in real time, broken out by categories like lighting, coffee, and electrical outlets.
    • discontinued
  • Visit the lobby of Wurster Hall, which has a set of three informational panels and a touch screen kiosk. The panels use Campus Dashboard data to detail the relationship between Wurster's electricity usage, and consumption at individual whole campus scales. The touch screen display lets users watch the building's electricity and water use in real time and explore its past consumption.

Potential Savings
2008-2009 Accomplishments
A working website for the Dashboard was available at http://dashboard.berkeley.edu (SITE NO LONGER ACTIVE) with data from several buildings around campus. The website provides real-time and historical data for energy and water and provides several views for comparison and monitoring of consumption. A kiosk will be installed in the Free Speech Movement Café in time for the beginning of the fall semester which will display dynamic, real-time information about energy usage (both café operation and student energy usage due to laptops and other plug-ins) as well as other educational features such as a game to help students contextualize resource consumption data.

2009-2010 Accomplishments

The permanent display panels for the FSM Café Interactive Install have been designed and re-designed based on user feedback, and a third effort is now under way. Wurster Hall's install has been completed and has a touch screen for viewing current and past Wurster Hall energy and water usage. Unrealistic levels of technical complexity and inconsistent student labor have caused delays in the delivery of a smart, durable, and informative set of boards. Final signage design and interactive components are still in progress. 

Crank Game at Banatao
Crank Game at Banatao Museum

2010-2011 Accomplishments

  • The Campus Dashboard project launched the finalized version of its online Dashboard, complete with data for electricity, water, and steam for most campus buildings.
  • The hand crank game was completed and negotiations began with CITRIS for possibly displaying the game in the CITRIS museum.
  • Posters were created and displayed in Free Speech Movement Café explaining the colorful string of LEDs running up the side of a pillar, which show the café's energy use in real time, broken out by categories such as lighting, coffee, and electrical outlets.

Summary of Project Highlights:

  • 15 minute interval building electricity, water, and steam data with daily updates for 40+ campus building along with several types of visualization and display for each building available through http://dashboard.berkeley.edu (SITE NO LONGER ACTIVE) since late 2008. As an indication that this was an idea whose time had come, this system have been joined in the years that have followed by the Berkeley Campus Energy Portal at http://berkeley.openbms.org/map/ and the official My Power website at http://mypower.berkeley.edu/ (NOW THE OFFICIAL CAMPUS ENERGY DASHBOARD PORTAL).
  • A real time electricity and water touch screen kiosk and custom information display in the lobby of Wurster Hall deployed with the collaboration and blessing of the dean of the College of Environmental Design (now replaced by an "official" display enabled by funding for its maintenance).
  • A real time submetered visualization of energy use in the FSM café based on current reading off of 24 circuits in the main circuit panel for the café. This display takes the form of a multi-colored string of LED lights and is an example of an architecturally integrated ambient display of energy data.
  • An educational video game with a power consumption quiz and real metered energy generation in the Banatao Institute Museum.
  • $18,000 was returned to TGIF.

Final Report

Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.