Housing renovations and energy efficiency: insights from homeowners' practices

Judson, E and Maller, C 2014, 'Housing renovations and energy efficiency: insights from homeowners' practices', Building Research & Information, vol. 42, no. 4, pp. 501-511.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Housing renovations and energy efficiency: insights from homeowners' practices
Author(s) Judson, E
Maller, C
Year 2014
Journal name Building Research & Information
Volume number 42
Issue number 4
Start page 501
End page 511
Total pages 11
Publisher Routledge
Abstract Renovation/retrofit is a key policy measure to reduce energy and emissions in existing residential stock. Existing approaches are typically based on assumptions about individual attitudes and technical-rational models, reliant on regulations and incentive programmes to influence homeowner behaviour. However, insufficient evaluation, together with inadequate attention given to the social dimensions of renovation, result in considerable uncertainty over the effectiveness of such policies. Drawing on ethnographic case studies informed by theories of social practice, this paper examines to what extent low energy and other environmental concerns come into play in renovations when they are conceptualized as social practices. A practice theory approach is adopted to analyze the intersection of renovations with homeowners practices. The analysis highlights the disparity between policy intentions for energy efficiency and everyday life. Findings reveal retrofit practices are mediated by the performance of practices comprising daily routines, both current and those anticipated in the future. Current policies and programmes focused on technical interventions to improve energy efficiency will have limited reach and impact. Instead, it is suggested, among other interventions, that policies to reduce the environmental impact of housing should be reframed around and positioned to address the mundane practices of everyday life.
Subject Urban Analysis and Development
Social Theory
Keyword(s) Energy efficiency
Occupant behaviour
Public policy
Social practice theory
DOI - identifier 10.1080/09613218.2014.894808
Copyright notice © 2014 Taylor & Francis
ISSN 0961-3218
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 37 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 24 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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