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Enabling the integration of energy improvements into mainstream home repair, maintenance and improvement practice in the UK

Maby, Catrin Myfanwy 2019. Enabling the integration of energy improvements into mainstream home repair, maintenance and improvement practice in the UK. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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One of the many complex challenges in tackling climate change is the pressing need to achieve a major reduction in carbon emissions from existing homes. In the UK, this is made even more difficult by the age and slow replacement of the housing stock, and the high proportion in private ownership. Making the necessary improvements will require significant investment and disruption. The home repair, maintenance and improvement market is demand-led and thriving, and offers practical opportunities to include energy improvements. The first point of contact for homeowners looking to get such work done tends to be mainstream building tradespeople: they could be the frontline in communicating, selling and implementing energy improvements. While work has been done to try to understand better the views and needs of the households and homeowners, a perspective that tends to be missing in policy debate is that of the building tradespeople themselves. Using a grounded theory approach, and qualitative research techniques, building tradespeople, trade associations, merchants and suppliers were interviewed in order to develop a better understanding of standard practice within the local supply chain in relation to home energy improvements. This provided a basis for seeking solutions to some of the barriers that were identified. A second phase of fieldwork focused on the key role of the general builder and the training and support required to deliver home energy improvements within mainstream home repair, maintenance and improvements. Recognising this as a socio-technical issue, a theory was developed, grounded in the practical realities faced by building tradespeople, using a multi-level perspective to create a picture of current practice and recommendations for change.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 March 2020
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2020 02:26

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