Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Engineering Technology

Committee Chair

William Hutzel

Committee Member 1

Hazar Dib

Committee Member 2

Jason Ostanek


People spend the majority of their day inside a building but remain unaware of the complex inner workings shaping their indoor environment. Energy dashboards simplify thousands of building data points to allow users to improve and understand the performance of their buildings. Traditionally, energy dashboards have had a more limited role in facility management in terms of monitoring performance, detecting sensor malfunctions, and identifying broken equipment. Smart buildings are expected to become a 137-billion-dollar market within the next five years, energy dashboards are needed to interface with homes and offices. Increasingly, energy dashboards are developed to actively manage and optimize the performance of sophisticated net zero energy buildings (NZEBs). The experiment prototyped and evaluated users’ ability to navigate an energy dashboard built in a tradition building automation system (BAS) for a net zero Applied Energy Laboratory (AEL). The AEL is a research facility comprised of a variety of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning and renewable energy equipment that mimics a commercial building. The AEL energy dashboard was evaluated by users before and after edits were made to the existing energy dashboard in the BAS. The results of the energy dashboard study validated methods to classify the users to optimize navigation of building performance metrics. Key performance indicators (KPI) were used to determine users’ identity among a set of diverse energy dashboard users. The study found statistical significances that a purposefully designed an energy dashboard improves a user’s ability to find building performance metrics. Understanding the user’s knowledge level and role in the building is an essential aspect to proper energy dashboard design.