Building data startups team up around real-time energy data

Two startups with tools that can unleash the hidden data within buildings have teamed up around real time energy data. Lucid Design Group, which installs energy dashboards and wireless sensor systems for buildings, has integrated its customers’ real time energy data into Honest Building‘s site that aggregates data about the energy use and green characteristics of buildings.

Essentially, the bulk of Lucid Design Group’s building customers (2,000 of ’em) — like Brown University, Turner Construction and the city of Bloomington, Indiana — will be displaying their real time energy data on Honest Building’s site. For example, in the screenshot below, you can see the energy use of DPR Construction’s office building in San Diego by 15 minute intervals, broken down by appliance, and compared to national and local averages.

Honest Buildings has created a site that pulls in data about energy use and green characteristics of buildings from a variety of sources including data from the building owners, green building technology service providers and public databases. The Honest Buildings team displays all this data for free online, and hopes to promote transparency and some friendly competition between building managers by exposing this data (they also have a subscription premium service).

Real time energy data could add a level of granular data that the Honest Building’s site previously didn’t have. As the two companies explained to me in a phone interview this week, a lot of the publicly-available data about building energy use is annual, which doesn’t paint too accurate a picture of what it’s like to rent space or live in the building. But real-time energy data allows building managers or potential tenants of the buildings to get a much better sense of the costs and energy usage of the buildings.

Honest Buildings earlier this month raised its first round of venture funding led by RockPort Capital and Mohr Davidow Ventures. Previously the company, which is about a year old, raised an angel round from Spring Ventures; Jason Scott, managing partner at EKO Asset Management Partners; and Lisa Gansky, author of The Mesh. Lucid Design Group, founded in 2004, has raised $1.5 million led by Dry Creek Ventures.