Altura is excited to announce our support of what might be the first ever environmental studies class using real-time data analytics as a core element of the curriculum. The course, Environmental Sociology, is being taught by Dr. Ben Leffel at University of California Merced. Students are using HVAC, lighting, and energy data provided by University of California Irvine, which has an extensive SkySpark data analytics backbone that records and analyzes more than 175,000 discrete points every 5-15 minutes.

The data are being used to identify specific energy efficiency improvement projects, such that students could actually see and analyze the impacts of human intervention and behavior on energy performance in the live system. Connecting the dots between human behavior and energy use is an exciting use case for real estate data analytics. Explaining the benefits of this unique curriculum, Dr. Leffel says “We need to show human-environmental interaction at the most granular level, and tapping into campus energy analytics for buildings allows my Environmental Sociology course to do just that. My students can see what climate change mitigation actually looks like, in the form of building-level energy conservation measures and the energy reduction effects they have in real time, and through what mechanisms.”

Altura is proud to support Dr. Leffel in this creative climate change mitigation class.