Drake Community Library Shows Energy Efficiencies with Dashboard

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Drake Community Library is using a a new educational dashboard to display real-time energy data to show patrons how efficiently the library is operating and to educate them on what building features make the library sustainable.

Sustainable library uses dashboard to educate patrons on sustainable building.

Green Library Educational Display

“A dashboard seemed an ideal way to catch the public's attention,” said Lorna Caulkins, director of Drake Community Library.

The Drake Community Library in Grinnell, Iowa, is using a new educational dashboard to teach visitors of the library about sustainable building practices and what makes their building energy efficient. Patrons can learn all about the library’s sustainable initiatives and view real-time building data on an educational tool called the Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard®.

After residing in its previous location for more than 100 years, the Drake Community Library moved into its new and very sustainable building in late 2009. The library was designed according to the U.S. Green Building Council’s® (USGBC) LEED® standards and is anticipating Gold status. As the community was rallied to help fund the construction of the new green library building, the Drake Library wanted to share with patrons what features were put in place to make the library sustainable. They worked with QA Graphics® to develop an Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard as part of their mission to educate the public about the sustainable building.

“The dashboard seemed an ideal way to catch the public's attention,” said Lorna Caulkins, director of Drake Community Library. “We had told the community throughout our building project that the building design would save money on energy expenditures, and this is one way of demonstrating it graphically.”

The Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard (EEED) is an interactive application used to illustrate building performance and provide education about sustainable initiatives. At the Drake Library, it’s displayed on a 42-inch touchscreen in the lobby, allowing visitors to walk up and learn about the library’s construction. The dashboard provides feedback on how efficiently the library is using electricity and water, by displaying real-time usage information and comparing that to past usage, over weekly, monthly and yearly time periods.

“Patrons have been very interested,” said Caulkins. “Some of the response is kids enjoying the touch screen, but we hope they are learning something while playing with it.”

Also explained on the dashboard, is what building features and sustainable practices were put in place at the new green library, including a geothermal system, lighting control system, the use of recyclable and renewable materials, tankless water heaters, motion sensors for lighting, low-flow water fixtures, landscaping with native species, including prairie grasses, and how purchases from regional manufacturers were made whenever possible. To help visitors understand how some these green building concepts actually work, demonstrations visually illustrate how the geothermal system and natural day lighting work within the library. In addition, the educational display provides a checklist showing which points the library met in their goal of obtaining LEED certification.

This educational solution has been used by libraries, schools, universities, restaurants, commercial businesses and government organizations to educate occupants and the public about what makes their organization sustainable. It has been used by number organizations obtaining USGBC LEED certification, and more recently, schools aligned with the mission of Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS). Learn more about the Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard at http://www.qagraphics.com/eeed.

About QA Graphics     
QA Graphics is an innovative graphic development company specializing in graphic outsourcing for the building automation industry. The company is an industry leader in the design of BAS graphics, symbol libraries, HVAC graphic development, user interfaces, and the award-winning Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard® used to educate about building performance and sustainable initiatives. QA Graphics also provides a comprehensive offering of interactive services including interactive content, 3D design/animation, multimedia and other creative solutions. Visit http://www.qagraphics.com to learn more.

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Sarah Erdman