As our customer base expands, we've found that some organizations require a solution with as few integration steps as possible
Ankeny, Iowa (Vocus) November 9, 2010
QA Graphics, an innovative computer graphic development company, 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.
“As our customer base expands, we’ve found that some organizations require a solution with as few integration steps as possible,” said Dan McCarty, president and owner of QA Graphics. “We’ve made a number of product enhancements to the Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard, so integration is a simple plug-and-play process that breaks through IT roadblocks,” said McCarty.
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:
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.
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.
“These updates allow us to provide the Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard as a fully standalone solution that is much more accessible for organizations with strict IT protocols,” said McCarty. “It opens up a number of possibilities to display real-time data across a variety of industries. We are currently in the process of developing applications to display real-time data for the process industry.”
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.
Energy Efficiency Education Dashboards are utilized by schools, universities, restaurants, commercial businesses, government organizations and more. They help earn points towards green building certification programs, contributing towards satisfying the U.S. Green Building Council’s® Innovation in Design Green Education and Innovation in Design School as a Teaching Tool credits under LEED®, and a variety of points under The Green Building Initiative’s™ Green Globes® green building rating and assessment system. To learn more, visit http://www.qagraphics.com/eeed.
About QA Graphics
QA Graphics is an innovative graphic development company specializing in the green building industry. The company is an industry leader in the design of graphical user interfaces (GUI) and award-winning energy education dashboards used to showcase organizations’ building performance and sustainable initiatives. QA Graphics also provides comprehensive creative services including graphic outsourcing, 3D design/animation, drafting, interactive content and website development. Visit http://www.qagraphics.com to learn more.