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RESET Earth | Plant a Sensor

RESET Earth is, as part of the Plant a Sensor initiative, a research project to build a publicly accessible resource focused on global air quality monitoring. RESET Earth's core purposes are to:

  • Raise the quality and quantity of air quality data being reported, globally.
  • Raise awareness on the global state of indoor and outdoor air quality.
  • Celebrate best practice case studies in global real-estate, impacting both indoor and outdoor environments.
  • Catalyze research of the impact of air quality on human and environmental health.
Plant a Sensor Global Partners and Sponsors
Partner Network - Earth Challenge

RESET works with a network of partners in order to scale the magnitude and impact of education and research. Key partners include Earth Challenge 2020, a global citizen-science initiative led by Earth Day Network, the US Dept of State as well as the Woodrow Wilson Institute.

1. RESET Earth Introduction

RESET Earth is a publicly accessible resource and research project focused on global air quality monitoring. RESET Earth's core purposes are to:

  • Raise the quality and quantity of air quality data being reported, globally.
  • Raise awareness on the global state of indoor and outdoor air quality.
  • Celebrate best practice case studies in global real-estate, impacting both indoor and outdoor environments.
  • Catalyze research of the impact of air quality on human and environmental health.

For inquiries regarding this RESET Earth campaign and how you can get involved, please contact us at info@reset.build.

Please note that this Campaign is not active anymore as of 2023.

2. Plant a Sensor Introduction

Plant a Sensor is a collaborative initiative between RESET and the World Green Building Council that aims to increase public access to air quality data worldwide.

Currently, polluted air causes 7 million early deaths each year, yet as a global population we remain dangerously uninformed about the quality of air that we breathe. With growing evidence that improving air quality is a viable method of combating climate change, (it is estimated that reducing the level of Short-Lived Climate Pollutants in our air could reduce global warming by up to 0.5ºC until 2050), it is now more important than ever to ensure the global population is well informed on the threat of air pollution.

In order to create better awareness of air quality levels around the world and of the health hazards that come from poor air quality, WorldGBC and RESET are partnering to empower citizen scientists to both establish their own air quality monitoring systems and share the data they collect on a publicly accessible air quality database: RESET Earth.

Through this initiative, here at WorldGBC and RESET we hope to:

  • Enlighten citizens about the quality of air they breathe, both indoors and outdoors
  • Equip researchers and policy makers with live, expansive global air quality data
  • Empower a global audience with information and awareness for more effective engagement with advocacy and pollution policy

Plant a Sensor will collect data on air quality parameters by empowering citizen scientists to collect data in a standardized form, and make this data publicly accessible through RESET Earth, with the aim of creating data resources that can be utilized by local and regional Green Building Councils to develop research projects that aim to mitigate air pollution and the adverse effects of poor air quality.

The World Green Building Council is a network of local and regional Green Building Councils: organizations around the world that partner with, campaign for, and facilitate, the construction of green (sustainable) buildings and the reduction of CO2 emissions in the construction industry.

Plant a Sensor is part of the WorldGBC's Better Places for People project, which unites GBCs in over 30 countries in an attempt to increase the supply and demand of Green Buildings worldwide, through sponsoring local projects, providing technical resources, and sharing information through research reports.

3. Plant a Sensor Objectives

The Plant a Sensor initiative is a long-term global awareness and monitoring campaign with the following objectives:

  • Distributing air quality monitors globally

    Plant a Sensor will facilitate a worldwide distribution of air quality monitors in collaboration with WorldGBC (contributing to Earth Challenge 2020), to collect air quality data from locations worldwide and create an international baseline of air quality levels.

    Plant a Sensor was initially developed by RESET in support of the Earth Challenge 2020 initiative in collaboration with the US Department of State and the Wilson Institute. The original initiative involved diplomatic communities around the world in an effort to create a global baseline of outdoor air quality levels, through monitor installation and data collection at diplomatic embassies. The program has expanded with the participation of WorldGBC and its constituent GBCs in collaboration with RESET, to include monitor installation at other private and public constructions around the world with the aim of collecting data from a thousand locations within one year of launch.

  • Developing research outcomes

    WorldGBC will utilize the data from RESET Earth for further work regarding air quality levels worldwide, forming the basis for research on the effects of poor air quality and strategies to measure and control air quality levels from WorldGBC and the global Green Building Council network.

    The data collected by projects in Plant a Sensor that are held on RESET Earth platform will also be made publicly available to Earth Challenge 2020.

  • Empowering further development of research content

    At RESET we believe that increasing the scope and accessibility of research in the field will in turn empower citizens and researchers to engage more effectively with climate advocacy and policy on air pollution. As such, Plant a Sensor aims to provide a framework of data collection under which national and regional GBCs can be empowered to create their own research content that can be utilized to support national and regional environmental policy goals.

4. Plant a Sensor Partners and Sponsors

Special thanks to our global partners of Plant a Sensor:

5. How to Participate and Be a Part of Plant a Sensor

WorldGBC & RESET are aiming to collect data from 1000 locations by the end of 2020, so we need all the help we can get! We are aiming for global coverage - all regions of the earth, and both within and outside of buildings.

We are looking to recruit both supporters and participants, namely any enthusiastic individuals interested in air quality data for health, safety and/or sustainability reasons. Either by being a sponsor or by installing one or more monitors, on or in buildings (indoor or outdoor).

If you are interested in getting involved as a participant of the campaign, please see the Participant Manual where you can find detailed information about how to deploy air quality monitors, follow best practice monitoring standards and where to submit the data to contribute to the campaign.

If you are interested in getting involved as a supporter or partner of the campaign, please check out https://worldgbc.org/plant-a-sensor or contact Catriona Brady, Head of Better Places for People at the WGBC.

6. Earth Challenge 2020 - Citizen Science

Earth Challenge 2020 is a global data collecting campaign led by Earth Day Network (EDN), The U.S Department of State Eco-Capitals Forum (ECF) and The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, to which RESET is a partner.

This campaign hopes to stimulate more citizen science projects in communities across the globe. A citizen science project is a research project that is designed to be open to the public and encourages community involvement. These projects are helpful in:

  • Accelerating scientific research
  • Allowing research collaboration
  • Encouraging education
  • Producing more diverse research
  • Motivating more public engagement in science

How Does Air Quality Vary Locally?

RESET will be partnering with EC2020 in collecting air quality data both inside and outside of buildings worldwide to answer the second of the six questions posed by EC2020: how does air quality vary locally?

Grade B monitors will be deployed for this project globally via the Plant a Sensor campaign, with these monitors being placed in accordance with RESET Air monitor deployment and installation guidelines. Monitors will report PM2.5, CO2, TVOC, Temperature, and Relative Humidity. RESET Air will also be providing a standard for data format and reporting.

Following these guidelines will facilitate critical communication between occupants and their building's indoor air quality. The standardization of data will enhance data analysis and data comparison, while increasing overall accuracy.

Making Vital Data Publicly Accessible

RESET will display data to to the public on RESET Earth, a freely accessible global air quality database that focuses on collecting and contributing to quality air data, specifically in commercial real estate.

The gathered information will help communities understand more about their own local conditions and health statuses, while raising global awareness about the importance of air quality both outdoors and indoors. Through EC2020, we hope to spark global innovation, partnerships, and further the reach of citizen science volunteer projects.

Partnering Organizations

Started in Washington, DC in 2009, the Eco-Capitals Forum (ECF) is a platform for embassies, the local government, the foreign ministry, and other entities to collaborate and share sustainability best practices and pragmatic solutions for environmental challenges.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center has been dedicated to bringing ideas and research together. For over 40 years. The forums created have focused on current world challenges. Established by Congress in 1968, it was ranked the world's best Think Tank in 2019 by The University of Pennsylvania.

Earth Day Network (EDN) is credited with the world's first official Earth Day. Earth Day Network has been dedicated to organizing countless movements through its almost 50 year life span and has expanded into over 192 countries.

7. Future Developments

RESET Earth aims to build upon the first iteration of this project and develop a number of publicly available resources and research projects, including:

  • RESET Earth API

    The RESET Earth API will allow third-party web and mobile app developers to access and republish performance data from best practice case-studies in global real-estate. The API will be available to individuals and organizations in need of air quality data for research purposes.

  • Standard for Commercial Outdoor Air Quality (OAQ) Monitors

    Expanding our work on standards for air quality monitors, RESET is now including outdoor monitoring standards for use in Core & Shell projects. Outdoor monitors present particular challenges given the wide range of environmental extremes they are exposed to.

  • Public 'K' Project

    This research project aims to increase the accuracy of particulate matter data being reported by comparing weight based measurements with particle count measurements. The purpose is to generate a public conversion (K) factor per region, which changes based on the type of pollution. This research will also provide insight into the type of particulate pollution contained within indoor and outdoor air.

  • RESET Health Index

    The RESET Health Index addresses issues found in the way traditional Air Quality Indexes (AQIs) are calculated today. The index will sum all measurable health parameters within a building into a single figure indicating total health performance; this can then be utilized as a basis for more effective communication of air quality data to occupants in both indoor and outdoor spaces.

    The RESET Health Index, now known as the RESET Viral Index, has been successfully implemented as a RESET Initiative.

8. RESET Earth Screenshots

Below are screenshots of the legacy RESET Earth website that ran from 2020-2023: