It’s true, academic institutions are being held to account over their green credentials as never before. Over the last few years, we have seen the proliferation of organisations dedicated to holding universities to account on green issues. Some even compile green league university rankings (for example: university league).

Can the timetable help academic institutions achieve their green aims, particularly around fuel waste?

CELCAT’s ethos has always been for the timetable to be a planned academic activity for the organisation which involves staff, students, and rooms (along with other resources). If the institution implements that plan so it drives what actually occurs, we can use the event data to drive the Building Management System (BMS).

A BMS is used to administer systems such as heating, lighting, ventilation, fire suppression, etc., (which are estimated to use up to 70% of a building’s total power consumption1) usually with the aim of saving energy.

What if we could use event data to switch these systems on and off as needed? We could use that data to trigger the BMS to turn on all those systems in the lecture theatre ready for an event and, when it finishes, turn them off.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was an integration tool giving access to event data in the timetable database that had the capability to either provide a Web API or write that data directly to your BMS database? Well, System Integration Manager (SIM) can do this and, by the way, a huge amount more!

Here are a few screen shots to show you how the ‘magic’ happens:

The SQL script above (which can be written by developers within your institution, provided by CELCAT, or both) grabs the event data from CELCAT Timetabler.

And this schedule runs the script twice a day (but can be configured to run it as often as is required).

Benefits of using Timetable data to drive the BMS

  • Helps the institution to improve its green credentials and meet emission targets.
  • Being eco-friendly (students want to study at institutions taking this seriously).
  • Improving the efficient use of fuel saves money.
  • A fully automated system takes the onus off staff and students to check lighting, ventilation, heating, etc.
  • Ensures a good learning environment for staff and students.

 1 Source: Qamar Saeed, LinkedIn article