Monitoring the Waitakere NOW Home®

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The Waitakere NOW Home® was the most intensively and comprehensively monitored house in New Zealand.  Yet the key to getting reliable information on how the house performed in a real-life situation was for the tenants to live as normally as possible, unbothered by data collection.

BRANZ Ltd developed a monitoring system which provides remotely accessible data, removing the need for regular data collection visits. The technology employed was cutting-edge, which needed new ways of thinking to provide a reliable and unobtrusive monitoring installation.

A central data acquisition system, comprising a desktop computer, an Agilent datalogger and a Point 6 radio sensor network collected readings of electricity and water use, solar water heating, the hotwater cupboard, temperature, humidity and CO2 levels.

A combination of electronic dataloggers recorded at intervals of one minute, recording some one thousand data points every day.  The quantity of data this yielded was considerable, with each day 80 channels of data being collected at one minute intervals resulting in over 115,000 data points. In time the large volume of data proved too much for software capability and the data was processed into ten minute blocks using a more flexible indexing system.

A LabView® programme is used to retrieve the data from the Agilent® and wireless radio receiver, and compile it into a form which is accessible from BRANZ Ltd in Wellington via a DSL internet connection.

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Former Prime Minister, Helen Clark, discusses the monitoring equipment with BRANZ building scientist, Andrew Pollard


Waitakere NOW Home

Waitakere NOW Home®