Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Sustainable buildings : sustainable behaviour? : to what extent do sustainable buildings encourage sustainable behaviour through their design, construction, operation and use?
Author: Clarke, John Lester
ISNI:       0000 0004 2752 8526
Awarding Body: Kingston University
Current Institution: Kingston University
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
The environmental impact of human behaviour on the design, construction and operation of buildings is often overlooked, frequently resulting in sub optimal performance over the lifecycle of the building (credibility gap and value-action gap). An over-reliance on technological and market solutions (false positivity) throughout the design, construction and operation of sustainable buildings means changing user behaviour is not currently envisaged by all but the most sustainability-minded built environment professionals. This study aims to develop an understanding of the dynamic and complex systems by which responsible environmental, social and economic action (sustainable behaviour) emerges from the relationship between people and the built environment. The primary research question asks to what extent sustainable buildings encourage sustainable behaviour, with broader research objectives covering the need for sustainable buildings and their social, environmental and economic benefits; a clear definition of sustainable behaviour and sustainable buildings; identifying opportunities for behavioural change from current best practice and how behavioural change theory can be applied to the built environment to encourage and optimise sustainable behaviour. Literature review reveals existing theory and practice in the fields of sustainability, architecture, behavioural psychology and pedagogy applied generally to the design, construction and operation of sustainable buildings. Five exemplar sustainable buildings with pedagogical functions are also investigated. The primary empirical research methodology uses grounded theory, ethnography and phenomenology through interview and survey data analysis, highlighting common best practices and innovative approaches, as well as revealing barriers to achieving sustainable built environments that encourage sustainable behaviour. The research reveals that there are numerous opportunities for behavioural interventions at critical stages throughout the lifecycle of buildings where ‘value-action’ gaps between our intentions to be more sustainable and our often sub-optimal actions or behaviours are identified. Strategies includes education, information provision, training, experiential learning, feedback, participation and regulation. The research contributes original knowledge by relating the way building mechanisms for change can be understood through the lens of behavioural psychology and the synthesis of the three disciplines of sustainability, architecture and pedagogy.
Supervisor: Pearce, Jenny ; Pretlove, Stephen Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Architecture and the built environment ; Art and design