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Title: An investigation of the tools and situated learning in non-domestic low carbon building design
Author: Zapata Poveda, Maria Gabriela
ISNI:       0000 0004 2752 439X
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis investigated the enactment of low carbon policy aspirations by practitioners designing new non-domestic buildings during the 2010 transitional energy regulation change in England and Wales. The investigation called on social theories to examine how the low carbon policy model was adopted by designers in real-time project design. It analyses what designers were doing as compared to what they were expected to be doing by documenting the design process, the knowledge and the tools to embed performance. The research was conducted by ethnographic methods that included non-participant observations, interviews and document analysis. Four architecture practices were recruited to analyse the conceptual and detailed design process in six non-domestic buildings for twelve to twenty-one months per case study. The architects were the main research participants and other design team members such as the mechanical engineers, the energy specialists and the BREEAM assessors were included. The study reveals how the compliance tools, guidance and standards (official tools) were incorporated in routine project design and the informal tools that designers used to embed low carbon performance throughout the design process. The findings suggest that the designers’ enactment of the policy enters already formed design processes that reflect a multitude of concerns and precedents, a preexisting social context. The social context is likely to affect the evolution of the low carbon aspirations, the dissemination of knowledge and the use of tools in the process. The field data reveals the understanding performance cycles enacted by designers and the knowledge gaps likely to emerge in the process. The study identifies the designers’ enactment of the policy aspirations and increases the understanding of the designers’ adoption of official standards, tools and guidance during the real time design process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: NA Architecture