While much has been made of sustainable living, green architecture and home design, the vast majority of green home technologies and related environmental innovations have been developed and tested in countries that do not possess the harsh climate found in Qatar. Systems and equipment designed and tested in the UK, for example, would not have been exposed to the heat, humidity and dust commonly found here, and, therefore, their suitability is uncertain. Similarly, there is a data vacuum on the subject of how green home technologies actually do perform in Qatar. Exactly how efficient are some of these technologies and should they be considered as viable alternatives in the support of sustainability planning?

The Green Home Automation Project (GHAP) is an environmental research in which data was collected on the electricity and water usage of a faculty member's villa for a one-year period. The same villa was then theoretically analysed for energy savings using green home automation technologies, energy efficient LED lighting and improved HVAC systems.

A comparative study was performed between the Old Current System (OCS) and the New Proposed System (NPS). Results of the theoretical comparative study showed significant energy savings when compared to the operation of the test villa. Using the suggested improvements, the NPS used 70% less energy for lighting and 40% less energy for HVAC than the OCS. These savings were calculated and compared for a “typical year” per villa.

Phase II of GHAP involved automating the same test villa to determine additional savings that could make the test villa greener. Both the lighting and the air-conditioning was controller via a central controller. Data has been collected over the last six months and indicates a 45% savings in electricity over the previous year.

This real world data supports the conclusion that (1) home automation can substantially reduce energy consumption in the State of Qatar and (2) and that further investigations into other green home innovations that can be automated should be undertaken.


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