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Housing renovation and energy systems: the need for social learning
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2012 (English)In: Building Research & Information, ISSN 0961-3218, E-ISSN 1466-4321, Vol. 40, no 3, 274-289 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Installing new energy systems in housing is claimed to be a way to meet national and international goals for reduced greenhouse gas emissions. A socio-technical approach, based on social learning theory, is used to examine the energy systems of a large Swedish housing project ten years after its renovation. A significant retrofitting measure was the introduction of metering. Important lessons are identified regarding the relationships between tenants, professionals and technical systems. The inappropriate assumptions underpinning the renovation about inhabitants capabilities and demographics meant that the dwellings were not optimally refurbished to meet user requirements, particularly with regard to the choice of technologies and inhabitants interface with them. Many of the installations are hidden from tenants and difficult for inhabitants to discover, explore and use. Occupants did not use the technologies (smart meters, thermostats, etc.) as intended, which lowered performance and also increased occupants dissatisfaction. This was also evident in the high levels of support needed by the inhabitants. Social learning processes are vital for the success of demand reduction strategies. Any demand reduction approach must consider people by investing in the social processes and the required learning for interfacing with technology, not merely the smart technology itself.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor and Francis (Routledge) , 2012. Vol. 40, no 3, 274-289 p.
Keyword [en]
energy demand, housing, inhabitant behaviour, low-carbon society, post-occupancy evaluation, smart metering, social learning, socio-technical systems
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-79113DOI: 10.1080/09613218.2012.690955ISI: 000304803200003OAI: diva2:538240
Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Council Formas||Available from: 2012-06-29 Created: 2012-06-29 Last updated: 2012-06-29

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