DOE Offers Free Building Energy Data Software
The District of Columbia, Philadelphia, and San Francisco have already signed on to use a new, free, open-source software from the Department of Energy to manage their building energy data.
The DOE launched the Standard Energy Efficiency Data platform (SEED) for the management of building performance data, the first such software of its kind. SEED can be used by city governments, researchers, utilities, and others to manage, validate, and share large amounts of data on the energy performance of buildings.
The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) is a SEED Team Member, along with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and software developer Building Energy.
The three above-named cities have confirmed they will use SEED to manage the data collected through their energy benchmarking and disclosure programs.
SEED provides a common format for building energy data, enabling easier sharing and comparison between datasets as well as standardized third-party applications. It allows management and storage of data from multiple sources about the same buildings and permits collaboration among jurisdictions or other selected external parties.
Version 1 (available now) can handle many kinds of data imported in .CSV format. Version 1.1 and later versions will provide links with related tools such as Energy Star Portfolio Manager, the DOE Buildings Performance Database, and the DOE Commercial Building Energy Asset Scoring Tool.
The core SEED code is open source. This makes it vendor-neutral and allows almost unlimited flexibility to add features for collecting new information and utilizing or visualizing building energy data in new ways.
Software developers will be able to access data that SEED users choose to share with them, add new functionalities, and develop proprietary add-on tools. The aim of SEED is to provide an open-source, plug-in architecture so that analysis and visualization tools can be added in a modular manner, as well as an Application Programming Interface (API) so that external software tools can have read-write access to the data. These plug-in and API functionalities will be available in the next major release of SEED in late summer 2014.
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