'Smart House' will test energy efficiency, technology

It may look like an upscale suburban home, but the real-life smart house is actually a scientific laboratory. It was designed by NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop tests for energy efficient materials and technology.

Soon, a virtual family of four will move in and scientists will replicate the impact of the fictional family on the home. "Every movement of their life has been scripted. Lights will go on and off. Showers will take place. Appliances will be turned on and turned off just as a family would use them," a spokesperson said.

It took about $2.5 million in federal stimulus money to build the house. The government expects to conduct energy tests there for decades.

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