The University of Technology, Sydney is preparing for the opening of its Faculty of Engineering and IT building located near Broadway, which will have embedded sensors and a data visualisation room.\nThe building is expected to open mid-year and is part of the university\u2019s $1 billion building program for the city campus.\nThe sensors will feed through data on the building\u2019s water usage and power consumption to monitor the efficiency of the building. Researchers will also use this data collected from solar panels, wind turbines and hydrogen fuel cells to be analysed.\nThe data will also feed into the university\u2019s digital signage displays, which will show information on the university\u2019s green initiatives. Updated timetables and events will also be displayed.\nThe 5 Green Star rated building is expected to deliver an energy saving of 30 to 45 per cent, a potable water saving of 20 to 30 per cent and a 50 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over benchmark tertiary educational buildings with similar functional spaces.\n\u201cWe are looking at, as a university, how to create a smart campus, so using information from all the different sources that we have to help us manage power consumption,\u201d said UTS CIO Chrissy Burns, who was a speaker at this year\u2019s EduTECH event in Brisbane.\n\u201cFor example, last year we installed some software that helps us manage power consumption by computers that are used on people\u2019s desk.\u201d\nData visualisation and BI\nThe 3D data visualisation room, dubbed Data Arena, will give researchers a 360 degree graphical display of large, complex data sets. Researchers in the fields of robotics, computer and human-centred design would benefit most from the virtual-reality-like environment.\nThe university is also using a data modelling methodology for its data warehouse called Data Vault.\n\u201cTarget data models are abstracted in such a way that many elements follow a pattern. This means that once new subject areas have been modelled, no manual coding is required \u2013 the programmers configure the data warehouse to automate the generation of the code that builds and maintains this new area of analysis. We have already seen a 90 per cent reduction in the time taken to create new mappings,\u201d said Burns.\n\u201cWhile we rely heavily on advanced features of the on-premise software stack in which our technical staff are already familiar, this environment is not optimised for large scale data manipulations.\n\u201cIn order to leverage emerging cloud technologies that are purpose built for large-scale analytics, we intend on establishing a hybrid cloud environment, in which we continue to leverage the on-premise system for automated mapping from source systems, and then replicate the incremental changes to the highly scalable analytic database in the cloud,\u201d she added.\nRead: UTS library goes underground with robotics.\nWiring the building\nBurns said the amount of cable that has gone into Faculty of Engineering and IT, as well as the new Science and Graduate School of Health and Business School that are also to open this year, would \u201cstretch to Tweed Heads and back\u201d.\n\u201cIn determining the wireless coverage required for the new buildings, we conducted a radio signal survey in conjunction with UXC and Alcatel-Lucent. This enabled us to determine the number of wireless access points we require and optimal placement of the WAPs,\u201d Burns said.\nThe university\u2019s access points are forecast to grow to 1,627 at the end of 2014, up from 920 in 2012 and 434 in 2011.\n\u201cWe allowed for three wireless devices per student. We use a range of WAPs, which can each handle between 100 and 300 simultaneous connections depending on the model deployed.\n\u201cTo cater for the large number of connections, we use Network Address Translation (NAT) to put our wireless connections in a private network, which is then routed through to our main network through the firewall.\u201d\nAlcatel-Lucent, which uses Aruba equipment and technology, is supplying wireless connectivity to the university campus.\nBurns said it\u2019s difficult to predict the growth rate of wireless devices, including wearables. She is using integrated wireless and network monitoring tools and OmniVista 3600 Air Manager to help determine in future whether to increase the bandwidth and capacity of existing access points and upgrade them to higher performance access points in certain areas.\nBurns added an interesting trend she is seeing at the university is that 5 GHz use has now overtaken the older 2.4 GHz spectrum and only 19 per cent of users now use the ubiquitous 802.11g connection mode.\nHigh performance computing facility expansion\nThe university is also expanding the use of its high performance computing facility. Initially used in the Faculty of Engineering and IT, the facility is set to becomes more accessible to a wide range of faculties, Burns said.\nThe facility, called the ARC LAB and developed within the Faculty of Engineering and IT, is designed using a friendly graphical interface and doesn't require researchers to understand the relevant command language.\n"Just to give you an example of how that would make a difference: During this week a researcher from our Faculty of Science started using that facility for some work she was doing, which on her local computer had previously taken 24 hours to perform a particular function, and it only took two minutes on the high performance computing facility,\u201d Burns said.\n\u201cOne of the challenges for researchers is there\u2019s such a broad range of tools and facilities, each one might have a different means of access. It can be quite complex to work out firstly what you need and secondly the training to use that particular tool. So that particular facility makes it very straight forward for researchers to get up and running has proven to be really valuable.\u201d\nThis article was updated for the purpose of adding information.