Climbing the stairs from the Hong Kong University Library to the Run Run Shaw Building housing the HKU Computer Science Department, I can see the towering HSBC building, home to one of the most advanced data centers in the world.
When the HSBC building went up, twenty years ago, it was at the forefront of technological design and efficiency. Today, it doesn't have enough room or power; HSBC is building a new, more expansive home for its distributed data center across the harbor, and adding new, vastly more sophisticated environmental and electrical power controls.
I'm proposing to UHK that they form an alliance with companies, such as HSBC, that have pledged to become carbon-neutral---a promise that HSBC made in 2004, and fulfilled by September, 2005---a remarkable accomplishment for an organization with over 260,000 employees.
An alliance would bring the research and engineering capabilities of universities to focus on networked sensor and control systems for buildings, transportation and logistics networks, water use, and material transport.
Making invisible uses and flows more visible allows management and control...as Sun hopes to demonstrate with all of its structures world-wide, and as we hope to show in cooperation with Woods Hole, the scientific research institute with one of the world's most energy-efficient buildings.
Every university can participate, every university can use its own campus and resources to study the processes of monitoring and reducing energy and water use.