Clarkson makes some campus housing units ‘smart’ to increase usage awareness among students
Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 5:20 pm

Clarkson University researchers have converted several suites in the “Woodstock Village” apartments into “smart housing” that will provide real-time data on energy usage to students.

College students who live on campus do not have an economic incentive to reduce energy consumption because they aren’t directly paying for a monthly utility bill.

The new program is designed to teach students the benefits of switching off a light when they leave the room.

Sensors have been installed on electrical circuits and water sources throughout the apartments to monitor everything from dishwashing to brushing teeth; researchers are collecting nearly one gigabyte of data per week. A wall dashboard in each apartment will provide feedback to students on their energy usage.

The data is intended to make students more aware of the energy and water they use on a daily basis, and how small actions to conserve resources may have a large effect.

“This is to help students reduce their energy use and provide them with habits that will stay with them for the rest of their lives,” says Stephen Bird, an assistant professor of political science.

Clarkson is partnering with the New York State Research and Development Authority for the project.

To see a video about Clarkson's smart housing research at youtube/AkHb0PVFCTE .