AI for Good project U-LEARN meets first two milestones

Date Published

6th Mar 2020

Suzanne Wallace
Media & Communications Manager, IES

Earlier this year we announced that we were awarded funding through the Scottish Government's Can Do Innovation Challenge Fund, managed by Scottish Enterprise. Our successful proposal under the ‘AI for Good’ meant that we could go ahead and embark on the development of U-LEARN, a unique, web-based command centre that will help facility and energy managers monitor, analyse and predict the performance of any building portfolio.

U-LEARN has now met its first two project milestones and we’re excited to share them with you!

User Research & Behavioural Mapping

The first milestone of the project focused on identifying the main potential users and undertaking behavioural mapping. Using a combination of new and ongoing research, we identified primary user personas and roles. However, more research is needed to create scenarios, design prototypes, and to test & validate solutions that meet the needs and requirements of the users. 



To this end, we have scheduled further interviews and contextual enquiries, with partners from the United Kingdom, Hungary and Spain, to understand behaviour and design for a broad range of scenarios. 

This continuous communication with potential U-LEARN users will also create rapport for future user testing of prototypes and validation/invalidation of any assumptions.




Developing “Smart Alerts” to create Intelligent Energy Efficient buildings

“Smart Alerts” is the main AI powered functionality that the U-LEARN project will create. Its aim is to develop a web-based command centre that helps facility and energy managers to better monitor, analyse and predict the performance of any building portfolio in order to minimise energy consumption, reduce costs and meet net-zero targets. 

“Smart Alerts” will use in the backend an Artificial Intelligence (AI) model that is trained by end user actions and feedback. The intelligent data insights and customised reports it creates will give the facility/energy manager the information they need to manage the building efficiently in almost real-time.

So far, IES has undertaken the initial design of and defined the success criteria for “Smart Alerts”. We have weighed the impact of false positives and negatives when predicting alerts and determined which of these events should be minimised. As part of this project milestone, IES visited the DataLab in Edinburgh to discuss the project with one of their expert Data Scientists. 



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