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Title: Selection and adoption of low and zero carbon technologies in social housing : a socio-technical network approach
Author: Downey, Mark
ISNI:       0000 0004 5361 6183
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2014
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Under the current Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, EU countries are charged with providing new build housing to comply with increasingly lower CO, emission targets. In Spain this translates to mandatory adoption of renewable technologies in all dwellings since 2006, and in the UK new homes are required to be zero carbon from 2016. To secure government funding, social housing providers are placing stringent demands on developers to comply with a range of performance requirements. Housing developers are currently employing fabric first, and/or low and zero carbon (LZC) technology options where necessary to achieve energy compliance solutions. The prevailing literature privileges technical rationality as the dominant selection logic for these solutions. However, commenters are beginning to contest this proposition by revealing the selection of solutions to be an emergent outcome of myriad interests and influences within the housing development process. A multi-level perspective was operationalised as a structuring framework providing context to the complexity involved in the selection of low carbon solutions by house builders. The socio-technical network approach was adopted as the theoretical lens for the case study design and to interrogate the empirical data collected from semi-structured interviews. The unit of analysis for the case studies in Spain and the UK is the housing development. Findings are given on the selection and adoption of LZC technologies which show wide variation in the actors' emergent understanding of the legislative, planning and technological requirements in achieving low CO, emissions in social housing. Such variation is currently translating to a fabric first approach with minimal design implications as the preferred compliance option in the UK, and to the maintenance of design templates with consequent quality and efficiency issues in Spain. The potential implication for the broader social housing sector is that certain LZC technologies are privileged where they can be accommodated into existing practices and designs, with little regard for forthcoming CO, targets or requirements.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available