Components of a Smart Campus
- Smart Grid Platform : This would be a layer of sensors, communication devices, and a common cloud hosted platform – Smart sense. The platform would be capable of doing two way communication and control. The Smart sense Platform would be the central database for all the activities which would have application Application Programme Interfaces (APIs) for developing Smart Grid applications. Some of the sample applications include:
- Live Display of energy and water consumption in Campuses with weekly targets and comparison reports with other campuses.
- Location based SMS alerts in case of wastage.
- Scheduling of pumping loads based on grid frequency (Grid responsive buildings).
- Green Energy and Efficiency retrofit : Based on the data monitored by Smart sense, Green energy and efficiency retrofits such as the following tools would be planned:
- Solar and Wind
- Geothermal cooling
- Tidal/Micro Hydro if available
- LED with control logic, Energy Efficiency cooling, etc.
- Rain Water Harvesting
All these tools would be implemented using 100% indigenous technology partners with feasible business models such as Opex or “pay as you save”
- Smart Users : The Smart sense Platform and Green energy would be combined with a user behaviour change technological nudges for resource efficiency. This would include Mass communication in campuses, Real time competitive dashboards with incentive programs, Subject based seminars around achieving the vision of “Zero Impact Campus”
- The TEN Commandments of Sustainable Campus: These commandments include all the major and basic elements that an educational campus is linked with. Following these elements and using them efficiently must be the main focus of the campus.
- Energy : Educational campus is one of the top users of energy. Understanding the benefits of using renewable sources of energy and the ill-effects of the non-renewable sources will help the campus to be run energy-efficient. Introducing solar panels and cutting off the unnecessary consumption must be the priority of these institutions.
- Materials : The construction and maintenance approaches towards the infrastructure must be based on minimizing the ecological impact. Understanding that a campus is an ecological location with a geographical, cultural, and landscape context for its materials use enhances the linkages to broaden the empathetic nature among people.
- Food : College administrations can lead the way by incorporating food production schemes into campus master plans, or by looking for inexpensive and innovative ways to initiate food landscaping opportunities, or by using more local and organic foods at college and community events.
- Governance : The sustainable practices must built into the mission, master plan, and strategic plan for a campus, conceived as crucial to its educational philosophy. Otherwise, sustainability will be marginalized, trendy, and viewed as just another special interest. Therefore, the motivation and implementation of sustainable practices must ne influenced in the grassroots level first ,i.e., the students.
- Investment : When large universities support green businesses they provide secure and stable markets that allow those businesses to reinvest in research. Smaller colleges can help support local farmers or other green vendors for whom the extra business may be crucial. By awarding contracts and opportunities to green businesses, campuses support the elements of a green regional economy.
- Wellness : When we talk about sustainability, we also incline towards the human health and the factors that sustains good health. As far as good health is a physical need, it also affects our mental and psychological health. The good performance and active participation among healthy youths can easily be differentiated. It also provides an extraordinary lifelong learning opportunity. In this context, reflective awareness about diet, nutrition, exercise, spending time outdoors, stress-reduction, and meditative activities should be generated in campuses.
- Curriculum : The best sustainability curriculum is one that provides the hands-on experience of living, implementing, and designing a sustainable campus, tangibly linked to the more formal curricular expectations of programs and majors.
- Interpretation : The campus is an ecological place, located in a changing environment. There are compelling stories that precede and follow every sustainable action. Let’s make them transparent and interesting, rooted in the history of the campus and projected into the future. Signages, educational displays or maps can be adopted to explain the sustainable landscapes or sustainable measures practiced in the campus.
- Aesthetics : Art projects use imagination to convey scale. The campus should have an aesthetic value that displays the healthy, creative and sustainable face of it.
- Community : The students should be encouraged to do their part in community level as well. The students may be well involved in the curriculum and extra-curriculum activities in campus, but there is an important need to outreach in community with the crucial awareness and understanding development goals. While developing changes in an individual level, the students should have an equal urge to bring the same positive changes in the community.
For detailed reference (as per the study carried out by Mitchell Thomashow), Read more...