GUNGA DATA Tracks Energy Consumption

Students who stop in front of the new monitor in the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library can view the latest statistics of “Gunga Data”, a new feature of the Green Cup Challenge 2011 that tracks the energy consumption of buildings across campus. “Gunga Data” officially went live on the Andover Website, marking the beginning of the annual Green Cup Challenge (GCC) around the nation this past Thursday. This new feature of the GCC will allow Andover students to view the school’s electrical usage online. Divided up into tabs that foster a friendly inter-community competition, “Gunga Data” displays the environmental status of each dorm. Patricia Russell, Instructor in Science and Coordinator of Sustainability, said, “The creation of Gunga Data really came from a universal desire to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, save money, and educate the community about global climate change. For a variety of reasons, everybody thought that [Gunga Data] was a good idea.” The website was created by a private company called Lucid Design Group that works with high schools and colleges to establish websites similar to “Gunga Data” called Building Dashboards. Of the other prep schools within New England, Deerfield Academy is another school that employs Building Dashboards. “On the Gunga Data Website, under ‘Competition,’ [students] can see how Andover is doing compared to Deerfield in terms of energy consumption. Right now, Andover has a higher percent reduction, but this can easily fluctuate,” said Russell. Through the website, students can also view the energy consumption of various nonresidential buildings on campus including Paresky Commons, the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library, Samuel Phillips Hall and the Gelb Science Center. Russell said, “As a large wealthy institution, we use a significant amount of natural resources and global climate change is pressing enough that not paying attention to the electricity we are using would not be follow the code of ‘Non Sibi.’ In fact, it would be very ‘Sibi.’” While the majority of the dorms and nonresidential buildings on campus have been included in “Gunga Data,” a number of buildings have been excluded from the website. “There are two reasons why a dorm might not be on the Gunga Data website. One is that there may not be an energy meter on the building. The other reason is that some dorms are on electrical accounts separate from the Phillips Academy account,” said Russell. In the spirit of the Green Cup Challenge, Phillips Academy will be hosting its annual Green Cup Film Festival this Friday at 6:30 pm in the Den. Elaine Kuoch ’11 and Rolando Bonachea ’13 will serve as the coordinators for the event. Kuoch said, “I think hosting the Film Festival in the Den will make the event much more casual and will hopefully increase the amount of people who actually watch the videos.” According to the official Green Cup Video Challenge website, videos should be student written and directed for presentation to the school community and to the public. [Each video] should create awareness, excitement and motivation about the Green Cup Challenge. According to Russell, both the GCC Film Festival and “Gunga Data” will be continued in future years at Phillips Academy and, hopefully, grow in their effects on campus. “In the future, we would also like to add steam consumption, water consumption, and fuel consumption to the ‘Gunga Data’ website. This would provide a more comprehensive understanding of our Carbon footprint in the community,” said Russell. “‘Gunga Data’ has really been an investment of time an resources, so we will definitely continue to use it in future years. ‘Gunga Data’ is here to stay,” she said. In addition to the Green Cup Challenge, Phillips Academy will be taking part in two other competitions targeted at sustainability, one of which is an interscholastic competition against Deerfield.