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Building Sustainable Smart Homes

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The increasing usage of computer technology in our everyday life and especially in our homes and the increasing demand for sustainable life style concepts raise the question of how to combine these two trends. Can we make smart homes sustainable or sustainable homes smart? This paper discusses current trends and challenges arising with these questions and proposes a sustainable smart home approach.

Presented at ICT4S 2013, the First International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Sustainability, held in Zurich, February 2013, http://www.ict4s.org

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Building Sustainable Smart Homes

  1. 1. Building  Sustainable  Smart   Homes   Marco  Blumendorf   TU-­‐Berlin  /  yetu  AG  
  2. 2. I‘ll  talk  about  ...  •  Defining  sustainability  •  Sustainable  homes    -­‐>  Shall  we  make  them  smart?  •  Technology  /  Smart  Homes    -­‐>  Can  we  make  them  sustainable?  •  Sustainable  Smart  Homes  •  The  End...  
  3. 3. Having  a  look  around...  
  4. 4. Defining  Sustainability  •  Brundtland  Commission  (1987):      “development  that  meets  the  needs  of  the   present  without  compromising  the  ability  of   future  generaSons  to  meet  their  own  needs”  
  5. 5. Defining  Sustainability  •  Karl-­‐Henrik  Robèrt  (The  Natural  Step):  “the  only  processes  that  we   can  rely  on  indefinitely  are  cyclical;  all  linear  processes  must   eventually  come  to  an  end”  
  6. 6. Defining  Sustainability  Holling:  The  heart  of  sustainability  are  “structure[s]  in  which  systems    of  nature  […],  of  humans  […]  and    combined  human-­‐nature  systems    are  interlinked  in  never-­‐ending    adapSve  cycles.”   From       hbp://www.resalliance.org/index.php/panarchy    “We  recognize  that  human  behavior  and  nature’s  dynamic  are  linked  in  an  evolving  system.  We  realize  that  the  seeming  paradox  of  change  and  stability  inherent  in  evolving  systems  is  the  essence  of  sustainable  futures.”  ⇒   Cyclic  &  Evolving  
  7. 7. Sustainable  Homes  ...  •  use  of  environmental  friendly  resources  for  building  and  living  •  harvest  and  grow  what  is  needed  (water,  energy,  food,  ...)  •  reuse  and  recycle  (water,  heat,  cold,  compost,  ...)  •  opSmize  processes  (venSlaSon,  air  flows,  energy  usage,  ...)  •  opSmize  consumpSon,  minimize    where  needed  •  are  comfortable  and  inspiring  •  provide  a  healthy  living  environment  and  sSmulate  producSvity    •  provide  security  and  safety  •  integrate  into  (local)  economies  and  communiSes  
  8. 8. Sustainable  Homes  –  3  Types  •  natural/back  to  the  roots  approaches   •  minimal  technology  integraSon  (electrical  lighSng,   music  and  compuSng  faciliSes)   hbp://•  (conSnuously)  improved  exisSng  houses     simondale.net/ –  standard  equipment  (computer,  fridge,  electric   house   lights,  stereo,  etc)  but  aim  at  low  power  devices  •  hightech  homes   –  standard  appliance  with  low  energy  intake  +    high-­‐tech  products  to  reduce  daily  footprint     hbp://www.sustainablehouse.ca   hbp://sustainablehouse.com.au/  
  9. 9. Dangers  of  Technology  •  hard-­‐to-­‐recycle  or  -­‐reuse  materials    •  toxic  producSon  processes  and  electronic  waste     (40  million  tons  of  electronic  waste  every  year)  •  growing  energy  hunger   (current  home  automaSon  approaches  consume  more   energy  than  they  save)    •  conSnuous  maintenance,  updates  and  replacements  •  unexplored  issues  related  to  environmental  issues,  health,   social  effects,  informaSon  overload  and  computer  devices   that  make  life  more  complex  and  frustraSng    ⇒ quite  the  opposite  to  the  sustainable  homes  defini<on  
  10. 10. Chances  of  Technology  •  new  processor  technology  uses  6-­‐100  Smes  less  energy    •  cloud  compuSng  reduces  the  need  for  individual  computers  and   actual  home  appliances  need  to  be  less  smart  •  compostable  computer  parts  are  in  the  making  •  rouSng  protocols  that  ensure  the  use  of  minimum  energy  routes  •  design  for  longer  life  spans  and  dynamic  change  and  provide  open   system  that  can  dynamically  evolve  over  Sme    •  the  Cradle-­‐to-­‐Cradle  concept  
  11. 11. Sustainable  Smart  Homes  •  deliver  beber  planning  and  building  results  •  automate  and  opSmize  processes  to  use  energy,  water,  etc  more   efficiently  •  monitoring  processes  and  make  them  more  transparent  (energy,   (hot)  water  supply,  ...)  •  support  acSviSes  and  consumpSon  decisions  •  reward  sustainable  behavior  •  provide  comfort,  security  and  safety  •  facilitate  local  and  global  communiSes    
  12. 12. The  end  ...  •  ICT  needs  to  face  its  inherent  unsustainability,  but  there  are  great   approaches  already!  •  Hardware  and  sonware  and  the  building  itself  will  need  to  be  able   to  evolve  over  Sme  and  to  adapt  to  changing  needs  and  integrate   into  real  cycles.  •  We  need  to  go  one  step  further.  We  need  correcSve  rather  than   preservaSve  behavior  to  restore  and  improve  our  resources  rather   than  just  abstain  from  consuming  and  wasSng  them.  •  Sustainable  and  correcSve  thinking  and  behavior  have  to  become   core  parts  of  our  lives  to  define  a  sustainable  lifestyle  for  over  7   billion  people  …  and  homes  are  just  a  star<ng  point!    
  13. 13.     Marco  Blumendorf   hbp://blumendorf.info  m.blumendorf@gmail.com   Thank  You!