Fall Hackathon - Campus total energy use and building control

Campus total energy usage and building control

Thursday, November 17th, 4:30-10:30p
Saieh Hall for Economics,
1160 E 58th St

NEW! Datasets to be released Nov. 2016, first-look:

  • Updated campus electricity, meter-level, now 2012-2016
  • Natural gas usage at plant and campus building levels
  • Weather station data
  • Building Automation Systems (BAS) data

In 2015, the 160 campus buildings and grounds used $40 million worth of energy. Come to the Nov. 17th hackathon to see where and why. Help improve our understanding of campus energy usage and increase energy efficiency!

Hackathon: An introduction by Daniel Diermeier, University Provost is followed by an orientation on the physical campus and its energy needs, and how it monitors and controls energy use. Experts will introduce hackathon participants to the basic concepts of energy, building automation systems, data visualization and energy efficiency. After orientation, participants will select from a series of challenges and spend the evening diving into university energy data, competing to identify features in campus data or to propose new tools for improving understanding of campus energy usage and increasing energy efficiency.  Mentors will be on hand for questions and collaboration. 


  • 4:30 PM     Welcome by Sian Beilock, Executive Vice Provost (room 201)
  • 4:35 PM     The Campus as a Lab Initiative, Liz Moyer Associate Prof., Geophysical Sciences
  • 4:50 PM     Research Challenges
  • 5:00 PM     How tonight works
  • 5:05 PM     Find your Breakouts!  
  • 5:15 PM     Breakout 1: All About Energy
    • Marcus Patterson & Alison Brizius, Dumb Buildings & Smart People (room 349)
    • Sumit Ray & Sam Ori, Its Electric & Expensive (room 230)
    • Liz Moyer, Tips & Tricks for Energy Analysis (room 112)
  • 5:45 PM     Breakout 2: Data and Design Skills!
    • Joe Walsh, Data Exploration and Exploitation: Planning Your Project (room 349)
    • Jeffery Tharsen, Data Visualization & Interactivity (room 230)
    • Leith McIndewar, Data Access & Searching 101 (room 112)
  • 6:15 PM     Challenges explained
  • 6:20 PM     Grab dinner and find teammates
  • 6:30 PM     Challenge start
  • 10:00 PM   Present your early findings!


Spring 2017 - Zero-Waste Campus Athletics

The Department of Athletics and Recreation, Facilities Services, UChicago Dining and the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Chicago launched a project this fall to enhance the environmental sustainability of the campus athletics program. Through a series of experiential learning courses in environmental studies and public policy, students are researching the behavioral and operational aspects of energy use, water use, and waste management to develop recommendations for reducing the environmental impact of athletic events and operations. A student-athlete sustainability council will implement the sustainability recommendations in collaboration with faculty, staff, facilities operators, University administration, and external partners. The year-long project will culminate at the University Athletic Association’s Outdoor Track and Field Conference Championship Meet on Earth Day 2017, for which students will design and lead a “zero-waste” event by implementing initiatives to divert recyclable and food material from landfills. Performance will be measured and lessons learned will inform and improve the sustainability of future campus events.