GAIA, Green Awareness In Action
GAIA aims at promoting positive behavioural changes within communities regarding energy consumption/awareness, through gamification and educational activities based on real-world data from schools in Italy, Greece and Sweden.
The GAIA project focuses on the educational community: faculty, staff, students and parents at various levels of education: primary / secondary / high schools and universities. Targeting energy efficiency in the context of the educational community is important for a number of reasons:
- Raising awareness among young people and changing their behaviour and habits concerning energy usage is key to achieving sustained energy reductions.
- Educating children and young people to adopt energy-efficient habits will also indirectly affect their immediate family environment.
- Buildings are the pivotal centre of our lives.
- Historically, energy expenses in schools have been treated as relatively fixed and inevitable, although significant savings can be carved out for reallocation to needed services, if energy consumption is reduced.
GAIA creates an innovative ICT ecosystem (including Web-based, mobile, social and sensing elements) tailored specifically for school environments, taking into account both the users (faculty, staff, students and ultimately parents through their children) and buildings (primary, secondary and high schools, along with university buildings) that motivate and support citizens' behavioural change to achieve greater energy efficiency. The solutions developed consist of an ecosystem of deployments in the Internet of Things (IoT), services, applications and games focusing on different aspects of sustainability and energy efficiency.
Country: Greece, Italy, Sweden
Coordinator: Computer Technology Insitute and Press "Diophantus", http://www.cti.gr
Programme: Horizon 2020
Target groups: college students, education authorities, parents, policy makers, primary school students, researchers, secondary school students, teachers
Topic: Applied sciences, Computer science, Ecology, Electronics, Energy, Engineering, Environmental sciences, Education
Start year: 2016
End year: 2019
Contact person: Georgios Mylonas, mylonasg (at) cti.gr
GAIA creates an innovative ICT ecosystem (including Web-based, mobile, social and sensing elements) tailored specifically for school environments, taking into account both the users (faculty, staff, students and ultimately parents through their children) and buildings (primary, secondary and high schools, along with university buildings) that will motivate and support citizens' behavioural change to achieve greater energy efficiency. The solutions developed consist of an ecosystem of deployments in the Internet of Things (IoT), services, applications and games, focusing on different aspects of sustainability and energy efficiency.
GAIA deploys its solutions across buildings located in Italy, Greece and Sweden. GAIA directly interacts with over 6,000 students, influences and attempts to transform their behaviour through a series of trials conducted in educational environments and in homes. GAIA expects as a result a larger number of people to become informed about its activities and become positively affected towards an energy-efficient behavioural transformation. The project demonstrates the benefits of using the ICT ecosystem developed in the buildings made available to the project. GAIA supports the users' achievement of behavioural change as they improve energy efficiency, by reducing unnecessary consumption and optimising energy-related decision making.
GAIA's objectives are summarised as follows:
- Engaging the educational community: Developing feedback mechanisms to notify the students/staff/parents on energy consumption at school, in order to raise awareness about the environmental effects of energy use, while monitoring their progress towards reducing energy consumption and a successful behavioural change.
- Developing a culture for energy-efficient living: Educating students towards efficient energy use by providing the necessary tools to the faculty, establishing pro-environment behaviour and sustainable living.
- Utilising energy-consumption data to improve the efficiency of buildings: Developing tools to support staff to become energy managers of educational buildings, by analysing energy consumption and comparing with other buildings to benchmark their performance.
- Organising competitions across communities: Promoting student-driven game-based competitions to further engage groups to lower energy consumption.
- Operating at several levels of education, with continuous assessment of behavioural change by establishing real-life validation across different parts of Europe, climate zones and socio-economic criteria.