Pacific Gas & Electric: Zero Net Energy Home

Submitted by Leviathan

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Client: Pacific Gas & Electric

Location: Stockton, CA, United States

Completion date: 2016

Project Team

Artist

Leviathan

Other

Carrie Brown, Ph.D.

Resource Refocus

Industry Resource

Ravenswood Studios

Industry Resource

Roebbelen Contracting

Industry Resource

Electrosonic, A/V Integrators

Architect

SmithgroupJJR

Client

Luci Creative

Overview

Pacific Gas and Electric Company recently opened its new Zero Net Energy Home display, and engaged Leviathan to design and implement advanced interactive aspects that take the pioneering ZNE Home's educational aspects to new heights. The primary interactive components of this design project are: The Virtual Tour, an iPad-based augmented reality experience that, by using iBeacons and location tracking, automatically presents relevant ZNE content throughout every room; and the Digital Dashboard, an 84″ high-resolution touchscreen that compares the comprehensive results and benefits of ZNE conservation methods to those of a typical home built in 2005.

Goals

With multiple levels of navigation in both the Digital Dashboard and Virtual Tour, a clear user experience is essential to visitors understanding what they're seeing on-screen and how to access such a variety of information. With that in mind, Leviathan began with structuring the graphical interface and informational elements into a colorful, contemporary-looking grid system.

In regard to technological challenges, giving visitors hands-on control of a virtual CG environment – and the ability to navigate topics via a digital floorplan from every inch of the ZNE Home – presented several hurdles. The 360-degree panoramic walkthrough footage was created and rendered with multiple passes featuring varied light maps, to address different seasons. With the Virtual Tour accessing iBeacons and using compass navigation in real-time, the room views automatically update and present footage and information, drawing on the custom Content Management System Leviathan delivered, which also has the benefit of allowing PG&E to easily update content over time.

Process

With Luci Creative leading the strategy and design, specialized creative agency Leviathan partnered to finesse the experience's communications design, and to bring it all to life. Additional project partners include architects SmithgroupJJR, A/V integrators Electrosonic, exhibit fabrication by Ravenswood Studios, construction by Roebbelen Contracting and energy consultant Carrie Brown, Ph.D., at Resource Refocus.