A major research project will help RMIT staff and students monitor and compare their full carbon footprints across work, study and travel.
Funded as part of the RMIT's $98 million Sustainable Urban Precincts Program (SUPP), the three-year project will investigate how the RMIT community can reduce its carbon footprint.
iCO2mmunity: Context-aware activity and movement monitoring for university-wide engagement towards greener living is led by Dr Flora Salim, a Lecturer from the School of Computer Science and Information Technology.
Dr Salim will supervise three PhD candidates for the project, which will involve gathering data from monitoring movement and activities in and around the main buildings of the City campus, and correlating this with data from building monitoring systems and smart meters.
"We want to be able to show that everyone can contribute to making a building greener and a more sustainable community, as it's not just a matter of changing the infrastructure or the light bulbs, it has a lot to do with our behaviour," she said.
iCO2mmunity is one of several research projects funded through the SUPP urban sustainability plan - the biggest program of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
It is expected SUPP will reduce RMIT's electricity use over eight years by an estimated 239 million kilowatts, leading to a 30,000-tonne reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, while water use will be cut by an estimated 68 million litres.
The iCO2mmunity project builds on Dr Salim's work in multi-sensor monitoring.
She recently supervised the award-winning EnviS project, developed by a team of postgraduate computer science students.
The wireless multi-sensor monitoring system took out the tertiary postgraduate prize at the 2014 Victorian iAwards, which celebrate the best in Victoria's ICT scene and are highly valued as industry recognition of excellence and innovation.
Dr Salim said the system taps into the growing popularity of the "Internet of Things", where everyday things are connected to the Internet and observations about the changing environment are recorded by ordinary people.
Such observations about day-to-day life can help Citizen Scientists understand more about the changing world.
Dr Salim said EnviS had a range of potential uses - from smart health and activity monitoring to smart home and building monitoring.
"The EnviS cloud service and app could be used as a tool to tag and manage sensors at fixed indoor and outdoor points, as well as sensors attached to moving objects and human users," she said.
"Users can monitor the changing thermal, light, noise, and occupancy conditions, and the surrounding contexts indoor and outdoor with the user-friendly app."
EnviS was developed by postgraduate computer science students Nishant Sony, Mars Dela Pena, Abdelsalam Ahmed Saad, Bo Wu and Yury Petrov from the School of Computer Science and Information Technology.
The 2014 undergraduate iAward prize was also won by RMIT, with software engineering student Shishir Chawla recognised for his work in the initial development of an evaluation tool for assessing housing options.