How the Duke Smart Home Works

Smart Home LEED Certification and Awards

Smart Home became the first LEED Platinum rated residence hall in the world.
Smart Home became the first LEED Platinum rated residence hall in the world.
Photo courtesy of Duke Smart Home Program

While one goal of the Smart Home's construction was to bring awareness, significance and reality to green living, the home also targeted meeting the standards for Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the United States Green Building Council. LEED standards measure green building design, construction, operations and maintenance and can be applied to a building or a community. To achieve certification, a building is measured on how it performs in regard to energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, level of indoor environmental quality and use of sustainable resources. LEED certified buildings use less energy, water and other natural resources, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Certification levels, from low to high, include: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. In 2008, the Smart Home became the first LEED Platinum rated residence hall in the world.

Also in 2008, the Triangle Business Journal selected the Duke Smart Home Program as the Green Nonprofit Program of the Year.

What's next for the Smart Home? As students continue to explore new technologies and research progresses, more prototypes are implemented into the home, such as the Smart Doorbell that allows residents to lock and unlock the Smart Home's front door with a cell phone or computer. And who says all this work can't be fun? Smart Pool can help you improve your pool table skills, with a projector, camera and mathematical modeling for vectors and balls in the game.

What's developed for the Smart Home isn't only for course credit; these ideas have the potential to revolutionize the way we live in our homes. Duke is building a bridge between thinking about green living and actually living it. Students involved in the Smart Home project are leaders not only in technology but in community outreach as well, showing us how smart living is actually done.

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