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CUNY, IBM To Help New York Schools Reduce Energy Consumption

IBM and City University of New York have teamed up to develop a new analytics tool that's designed to help New York's public schools save on energy costs. The conservation program will also be used to give a boost to STEM education in the city's K-12 schools.

Dubbed the Energy Analytics for Buildings project, the effort involves technology that will apply collected data--including weather, energy use, and building characteristics--to create forecasts and simulations to help optimize energy use in the future. According to information released by IBM, the program entered its initial stages about 10 months ago. During that time various data have been collected and analyzed, and models are being built for New York's school facilities.

But the lessons learned in the program will be applicable beyond New York's schools as well. "In many cases it's unreasonable for cities to build brand new energy efficient buildings from scratch. Rather, it's important that we help governments, university campuses and corporations alike understand how they can use technology to make existing buildings as energy efficient and cost-effective as possible," said Jane Snowdon of IBM Research, in a statement issued by IBM last week. "Adding advanced analytics and real-time communications to control systems and getting data into the hands of property managers and facility staff has the potential to drive powerful improvements for decades to come."

As part of the program, IBM is collaborating with the New York City Department of Education to use the project to support science education.

"One of our goals at the Department of Education is to reduce energy use in our buildings and learn from it," said NYCDOE Division of School Facilities CEO John T. Shea. "The IBM/CUNY energy analytics tool would help us better manage our buildings and would help our teachers incorporate the information from the energy use in the building to supplement the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curriculum."

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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