PITA FY2014 Projects

An integrated visualization-based environment to provide information support for troubleshooting of HVAC related problems

PI:Semiha Ergan, Civil and Environmental Engineering

University:Carnegie Mellon University

Co-PI(s):Anind Dey, Human Computer Interaction Institute

Industry Affiliate(s):Automated Logic Pittsburgh

Summary:Automated Logic Corporation (ALC) is a provider of commercial building automation systems, energy management, and HVAC solutions that aim to maximize building energy efficiency and ensure occupant comfort. The company has more than 150 branches and dealers, who are providing services to thousands of commercial office buildings, industrial plants, critical mission facilities, healthcare facilities, educational facilities, government complexes, hospitality/entertainment venues and retail locations worldwide.

In this project, we will work closely with ALC to: (1) Develop design options with ALC graphic department to visualize the required information items for HVAC mechanics. (2) Learn the process of developing and evaluating user interfaces for the products in the industry. (3) Reach out to ALC’s customers for user studies. In the evaluation process, ALC’s large customer groups have the potential to help the research group to get in touch with more end users to test the visualization options. (4) Provide our research findings for ALC to implement in their products. The outcomes from this research will be beneficial for ALC to improve their products in terms of adequacy of the information they provide and the right visualization strategies for the necessary information.