Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal (KM&EL), Vol 6, No 4 (2014)

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Our building is smarter than your building: The use of competitive rivalry to reduce energy consumption and linked carbon footprint

Carolyn McGibbon, Jacques Ophoff, Jean-Paul Van Belle


This research is located within the smart city discourse and explores the linkage between smart buildings and an intelligent community, employing the University of Cape Town as a case study. It is also situated within the research stream of Green Information Systems, which examines the confluence between technology, people, data and processes, in order to achieve environmental objectives such as reduced energy consumption and its associated carbon footprint. Since approximately 80% of a university’s carbon footprint may be attributed to electricity consumption and as the portion of energy used inefficiently by buildings is estimated at 33% an argument may be made for seeing a campus as a “living laboratory” for energy consumption experiments in smart buildings. Integrated analytics were used to measure, monitor and mitigate energy consumption, directly linked to carbon footprinting. This paper examines a pilot project to reduce electricity consumption through a smart building competition. The lens used for this research was the empirical framework provided by the International Sustainable Campus Network/Global University Leadership Forum Charter. Preliminary findings suggest a link between the monitoring of smart buildings and behaviour by a segment of the intelligent community in the pursuit of a Sustainable Development strategy.

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Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal (KM&EL)
ISSN 2073-7904


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Laboratory for Knowledge Management & E-Learning

Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong