Sunday, April 27, 2008

earth week and me

it was a busy but productive earth week for me. lots of things happened at berkeley. last semester i worked with a group of students to help identify areas where the campus could improve energy efficiency and lower its greenhouse gas emissions (see our report here). last monday, i presented those results at the chancellor's sustainability summit. you can read about the summit here, but let me tell you one story that really resonates with me.

the doe library reading room is a beautiful place to study on campus. here's a picture:

notice the skylight at the top of the picture, it's a bit hard to see. what's harder to see is that there are actually lights all around the skylight. and those lights, until very recently, were on, 24 hours a day. why? well, the switch for those lights was up a ladder, through a room, and behind a locked cabinet. would you want to be the one to turn them on and off?

that just shows you how different a time it was, even only a few years ago. the completely needless waste of energy just wasn't important. but that has changed. a campus group fixed the library lights by installing wireless controls that made it very easy to turn the skylight lights on and off. similar measures are popping up all over campus, not just for lights but for all kinds of energy inefficiencies.

TGIF Grant

in other news, me and my friend sam borgeson won the flagship grant from the green initiative fund at berkeley for our project titled UC Berkeley Campus Dashboard. we're going to make a centralized store for consumption data, broadly construed, for all the berkeley campus. electricy, water, steam, waste, etc.. all in one place! don't you want to get your hands on this data? then we will create some compelling person-facing applications that use the data. we're very excited!

1 comment:

bea said...


I love skylights---the skylight in the shop kitchen means I actually get to turn off the fluorescent lights from about 11 a.m. until about 4 p.m because we get so much good light in, assuming a semi sunny day!