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Socio-technical issues in dwelling retrofit

Tweed, Aidan Christopher ORCID: 2013. Socio-technical issues in dwelling retrofit. Building Research & Information 41 (5) , pp. 551-562. 10.1080/09613218.2013.815047

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Although a wide range of technical solutions exist to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions, these may not produce the predicted savings if occupants operate the refurbished dwelling in unexpected ways, resulting in a ‘performance gap’. Retrofit can be approached as a set of socio-technical issues. Social practice theory is the dominant approach in socio-technical studies of energy in the home. However, other ways can investigate how people engage with and experience their home environments, including their interaction with energy technologies. This can extend the reach of socio-technical studies to encompass personal experience of reconfigured homes within the broader socio-cultural context. Methodologies from phenomenology and ecological psychology used in architecture and philosophy of technology – principally the concepts of ‘breakdown’ and affordance – can examine occupants' experience of a retrofitted environment. An energy retrofit of an occupied dwelling is used to illustrate how such methods can provide insights into occupants' experience of and responses to refurbishment. It is suggested that householders' energy and comfort concerns emerge and recede alongside other concerns in both time and space as they adjust to their reconfigured home. Changing affordances after retrofit can influence how people use dwelling space in ways that have energy consumption consequences.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
T Technology > TH Building construction
Uncontrolled Keywords: affordances; buildings; energy demand; phenomenology; retrofit; socio-technical issues
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0961-3218
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 11:47

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