The goal of the Duke Smart Home Program is to offer a research and educational program that emphasizes energy efficient, sustainable and ‘smarter’ living. Smarter living is defined as using technology for automation in a way that encourages behavior we want and need to achieve our values of energy efficient, sustainable living. The program operates and manages The Home Depot Smart Home as an evolving resource purposefully used to inform our ideas about sustainable, energy efficient, smart living. In addition, the program provides a budget, oversight and mentoring guidance for the student-run Smart Home Club. The program is also involved in the community-focused Dumb Home Project with Builders of Hope.
Key Elements of our Program
Dorm: The goal of The Home Depot Smart Home is to serve as a living laboratory focused on sustainable living and technology integration. Part of our external identify for the dorm is that it is a signature example of Duke’s unique attitude toward student creativity and engagement as a part of education. Our goal is to install at least one student-developed technology in the dorm each year.
Student Research: Our goal is to provide the resources, guidance and infrastructure to move as many projects—whether for-credit or non-credit, student or faculty generated—through the design process and to an install ready stage. The design process is defined as a progress from an idea to planning, to developing a proof of concept, to building actual prototypes, to achieving an install-ready technology. Our overarching goal is to install at least one student/faculty-derived technology in the smart home dorm each year.
Smart Home Club: The goal of the Smart Home Club is to engage students from across the Duke campus in conceiving, building and deploying technology-based solutions. Student projects are limited only by student creativity, and are not limited in scope by the program’s focus on energy efficiency, sustainable, smart living. In many ways the club serves as an ambassador for engineering as a discipline, and breaks down barriers for non-engineering students who may feel intimidated or ill prepared to make decisions about technology. The club also serves as a microenvironment for students to learn and practice project management, marketing and communication skills.
Smart Home Residents: The goal for smart home residents is to actively explore the experience of living in a technology-rich environment and to serve as ambassadors for sustainable, green living.