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Architecture as a strategy for reduced energy consumption? An in-depth analysis of residential practices’ influence on the energy performance of passive houses

Architecture as a strategy for reduced energy consumption? An in-depth analysis of residential... Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss how architectural solutions may influence residential practice and energy consumption. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is part of a larger study based on qualitative investigations of six energy-efficient housing projects in Norway. Here, the authors examine one of these projects, Løvåshagen in Bergen, the first Norwegian passive house flat building. Based on a combination of 14 interviews with household members and energy consumption data for all flats, the authors show how residential practices influence energy consumption. In the discussion and conclusion, the authors focus on the role of the architecture in these practices. Findings – On the one hand, Løvåshagen reflects a mainstreaming approach to sustainable building, attracting a wide array of different occupants. On the other hand, the specific add-ons that are intended to make the buildings energy efficient require new definitions of comfort and new skills to achieve the promised energy savings. This combination can explain why Løvåshagen, after four years of occupation, has a large variation in actual energy consumption. Practical implications – In designing new energy-efficient housing, greater attention should be paid to the level of end-user control and adaptability, the level of system complexity, and the need for adequate information. An alternative to the mainstreaming approach would be to actively use architecture to influence residential practices towards reduced energy consumption. Originality/value – The use of qualitative methods to analyse quantitative energy data is original and provides promising opportunities to understand the significance of residential practices regarding actual energy consumption. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Smart and Sustainable Built Environment Market Emerald Publishing

Architecture as a strategy for reduced energy consumption? An in-depth analysis of residential practices’ influence on the energy performance of passive houses

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References (27)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2046-6099
DOI
10.1108/SASBE-07-2013-0042
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss how architectural solutions may influence residential practice and energy consumption. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is part of a larger study based on qualitative investigations of six energy-efficient housing projects in Norway. Here, the authors examine one of these projects, Løvåshagen in Bergen, the first Norwegian passive house flat building. Based on a combination of 14 interviews with household members and energy consumption data for all flats, the authors show how residential practices influence energy consumption. In the discussion and conclusion, the authors focus on the role of the architecture in these practices. Findings – On the one hand, Løvåshagen reflects a mainstreaming approach to sustainable building, attracting a wide array of different occupants. On the other hand, the specific add-ons that are intended to make the buildings energy efficient require new definitions of comfort and new skills to achieve the promised energy savings. This combination can explain why Løvåshagen, after four years of occupation, has a large variation in actual energy consumption. Practical implications – In designing new energy-efficient housing, greater attention should be paid to the level of end-user control and adaptability, the level of system complexity, and the need for adequate information. An alternative to the mainstreaming approach would be to actively use architecture to influence residential practices towards reduced energy consumption. Originality/value – The use of qualitative methods to analyse quantitative energy data is original and provides promising opportunities to understand the significance of residential practices regarding actual energy consumption.

Journal

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment MarketEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 11, 2014

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