The Standard Energy Efficiency Data Platform™ (SEED Platform) provides public agencies and other organizations with a standardized but flexible, cost-effective, secure, enterprise data platform to manage portfolio scale building performance data from a variety of sources.
City, county, and state governments are implementing policies or supporting voluntary programs focused on managing building performance data (such as energy or water consumption efficiency), with a vision that the record of performance will inform public and private decision-making strategies around the built environment. To implement these policies and programs, many public agencies are having to invest significant time and resources to develop customized tools and processes for collecting and managing the incoming building performance data. The subsequent effort needed to combine building performance and benchmarking data with other building information sources -- including cleansing and validating the data, analyzing it, assessing compliance, and disclosing results per public transparency requirements -- is a very complex process.
To address this challenge and save public agencies time and money, the U.S. Department of Energy developed the SEED Platform. The SEED Platform has the potential to significantly reduce the administrative effort required by public agencies or other organizations to implement building performance reporting and transparency programs.
The SEED Platform Collaborative provides a peer community for public agencies that are tracking building energy performance data using the Standard Energy Efficiency Data Platform™ (SEED Platform). Member public agencies (and Inaugural Partners, detailed below) share best practices and information with one another, and engage with Technical Allies and Affiliate organizations. Software developers and web hosting providers can participate in the Collaborative as Technical Allies to offer SEED Platform web-hosting and other value-added services needed by users of the SEED Platform. Major nonprofit organizations have also joined as Affiliates to help promote adoption of the SEED Platform and participation in the Collaborative, and to share lessons learned.
DOE established the SEED Platform Collaborative with the goal of helping cities, counties, states, and other public agencies successfully transition to using the SEED Platform to manage building energy performance data. This performance data will allow public and private entities to identify and analyze the best opportunities for improving building performance.
To learn more and get involved visit the SEED Platform Collaborative webpage.
Fundamentally, the SEED Platform is designed to manage multiple sets of data about buildings in a single location. Public agencies or other organizations implementing building performance and transparency programs can eliminate many technical and workflow data management challenges by leveraging the SEED Platform.
- SEED makes data management easier. The SEED Platform helps automate the process of formatting, matching, cleaning, and validating data to identify errors. SEED allows multiple parties to work on the same dataset and keep track of edits and activities. As a result, SEED helps increase data quality and save staff time.
- SEED is standardized. The SEED Platform is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to provide a common, interoperable platform for state and local governments, and other organizations. The Platform stores data following the Building Energy Data Exchange Specification (BEDES). BEDES is the “dictionary” for building performance data -- a standard set of terms, definitions, and field formats that can be a consistent reference for different tools and databases, to help different systems map data fields to each other and exchange data.
- SEED does not require manual data entry. The SEED Platform can import data from related tools such as ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®, Green Button, and the DOE’s Home Energy Score and Building Energy Asset Score tools.
- SEED unlocks data. The SEED Platform’s application programming interface (API) allows selected data to be shared directly with other software tools or public-facing dashboards. This can simplify the public disclosure process required by a building performance reporting and transparency program.
- SEED is is open source. The core SEED Platform code is open source, rather than a proprietary or custom enterprise software. Open source means that organizations can make improvements and add new features to the SEED Platform. These code enhancements can be submitted back to the open source project for approval so that all SEED Platform users may benefit from the enhancement.
- SEED source code is free. The core SEED Platform source code is freely available on our Github page. Users can then install the software on their own servers or in Amazon Web Services (cloud-based hosting), or use a SEED Technical Ally’s hosting services.
Interested in the SEED Platform? Details on implementing the platform are available in the Resources for SEED Platform Users section of our software support site. Then, contact us through our Interest Form, and we will follow up directly with you.
The SEED Platform is a web-based database tool, and therefore must be "hosted" on a web server: It is not designed to be installed on an end-user's desktop computer. For organizations interested in deploying a SEED Platform instance, there are two easy options to get up and running:
- An organization can deploy the SEED Platform themselves, either on Linux instances in the cloud (e.g. Amazon Web Services), or on your organization’s local web servers. Self-hosting of SEED on a local web server requires some experience with server and database administration, and will usually require the involvement of an organization's IT department for installation and operation of an instance of SEED Platform.
- Alternatively, an organization can utilize the services of a third-party hosting provider (either an existing SEED Technical Ally hosting provider, or by encouraging a hosting provider to join and become a SEED Technical Ally and SEED Platform hosting provider).
Full system requirements and technical details can be found on the SEED Platform Software Support site.
The SEED Platform supports the following data management functionalities:
- Hosting Providers -- We are actively looking for more hosting providers to offer the SEED Platform as a hosted service to end-users. Please see the hosting provider requirements and the list of current hosting providers.
- App Developers -- Use the SEED Platform application programming interface (API) to offer value-added services for users of the SEED Platform. Please see the app developer requirements for more information. The first three apps that have already been successfully developed are mentioned here: Excitement Around the Data Surge App Showcase.
DOE has assembled a team of industry leaders to develop the SEED Platform software and manage the Collaborative.
- Department of Energy: Development and strategic lead
- Institute for Market Transformation: SEED Platform Collaborative support and Partner business process assistance
- Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: Software development and Partner technical support
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Software development and Technical Ally engagement
- SEED Platform Collaborative Partners announcement – January 29, 2016:
- SEED Collaborative announcement – 2015
- White House Fact Sheet - 2014