In an effort to simplify the transition to renewable sources of energy, the city of Zurich commissioned EBP to help it develop and launch its EnerGIS information platform. The aim of the platform is to enable property owners to conveniently locate sustainable sources of energy for their heating needs.
The city of Zurich is pursuing the long-term goal of lowering its per capita energy consumption to 2,000 watts as a means of significantly reducing its greenhouse-gas emissions. Given the central role that buildings can play in achieving this goal, the EnerGIS platform was created to help property owners make the switch from fossil fuels to renewables.
Linking building and energy data for the first time
Known as EnerGIS, the platform is based on a geographic information system (GIS) that uniquely links specific building data to energy data provided by power companies, municipal energy-planning agencies and cantonal agencies.
EnerGIS enables property owners to determine what types of fuel are currently available at the location of their properties, as well as what types will be available in the near future. The platform also provides answers to the following questions: Are there any larger energy-supply networks available, or will any soon to be available, in the vicinity? What is the location of access points to district heating? Are facilities available for solar heating or photovoltaics? And what conditions apply to geothermal probes and air-to-water heat pumps? Maps are provided to illustrate all locations. In addition to the public-access EnerGIS app, we have also created an EnerGIS Pro version to support energy planners and consultants in their daily work.
Open standards and user-centered design
We developed our WebGIS applications on the basis of Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards. The apps were implemented with Angular and Angular Material. The accompanying maps are supported by QGIS Server and OpenLayers.
We also deployed a user-centered design process to analyze how private and public-sector owners, energy consultants, planning agencies and system providers proceed when replacing their heating systems. This allowed us to design the application with an eye to optimal user support. Equipped with this information, our team developed a user-experience (UX) design and communication concept that provides for the recording of suggestions for the application’s improvement.