QA Graphics Helps Longwood University Educate the Public about Biomass Heating Plant

Des moines, IA, February 20, 2013 --( Longwood University, located in Farmville, Virginia, looked to QA Graphics to create a 3D animated video to educate students and the public about the campus’ biomass heating plant and demonstrate the university’s commitment to sustainability.

Longwood is the only public institution of higher education in Virginia and one of only two state agencies that burns biomass for heating fuel. The university has practiced sustainability by heating with biomass fuel (sawdust) for nearly 30 years. In 2011 Longwood opened a new biomass heating plant, which provides almost 100 percent of the campus’ heat and hot water.

To educate others on the campus’ sustainable efforts, Longwood University’s Energy Manager, Kevin Miller, sought out QA Graphics to develop an animated video that would visually demonstrate how the fuel-efficient plant operates. Longwood had worked with QA Graphics previously, purchasing their BAS graphics module for the university’s Tridium system. Having been impressed by the quality of the BAS graphics, and having a good working relationship with the sales staff, they also looked to QA Graphics for help with this video as the company has over six years of experience helping organizations create awareness about sustainable initiatives through solutions like animated videos and their Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard®.

To create the video, Longwood University provided photographs and a general outline of what the video should entail to accurately depict the plant process. From there, QA Graphics’ 3D design team took the lead, finalizing the storyline and creating a full 3D scene including models of trucks, equipment and the plant to illustrate the facility’s operations. The video demonstrates the entire process, starting with the logging and sawmill operations creating sawdust, trucks hauling the sawdust to the biomass processing facility, how it’s stored in silos and then burned to heat the boilers and create steam that’s distributed throughout the campus.

The video is currently being shown at tradeshows and during presentations about the plant to educate others on the plant’s operations. “The last show made me confident that it accomplishes our goals. It was simple enough for high school students to comprehend, but done professionally enough so that architects and engineers appreciated the video as well,” said Kevin Miller, Energy Manager at Longwood University.

“It has gotten a lot of attention for us at the shows. Everyone remarks at the quality and almost immediately asks who made the video,” said Miller. “We plan on adding a url to any future grant proposals that we seek, so in essence it is a versatile marketing tool for us.”

QA Graphics has helped many organizations similar to Longwood University educate about their sustainable initiatives. With a team of mechanical engineers, architects, and creative staff, QA Graphics is able to take technical concepts and visually explain them in a way that’s very easy to understand. The company has created similar demonstrations that illustrate how sustainable building features work, such as geothermal systems, wind turbines, green roofs, photovoltaic systems and more. With a rendering farm onsite, the company provides affordable and quick turnarounds on the 3D graphics and animations. Learn more at

About QA Graphics
QA Graphics is a leader in the building automation and green building industries, providing HVAC graphic development services, system graphics, floor plan graphics, and energy dashboards to help organizations educate occupants about building performance and sustainability. The company also specializes in interactive applications, 3D design and animation, mobile app development and other multimedia.
QA Graphics
Sarah Erdman