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Engaging UK repair–maintain–improve practitioners in improved building performance

Engaging UK repair–maintain–improve practitioners in improved building performance To improve building performance and meet statutory carbon reduction targets, a radical transformation of existing UK building stock is needed. Much previous research on building performance has focussed on large-scale construction. However, retrofit of existing housing stock – which will contribute the majority of the requisite efficiency improvement – is carried out by practitioners in the repair–maintain–improve (RMI) subsector. These practitioners are the sole traders and micro-firms who constitute two-fifths of employment in the construction sector. The study aims to examine the factors influencing these practitioners in RMI work to understand how better to engage them with improved building performance.Design/methodology/approachA total of 31 semi-structured interviews were conducted with RMI professionals from around the UK and analysed using template analysis.FindingsThe analysis identified capabilities of the practitioners who influence building performance, including knowledge and co-ordination of people and resources; opportunities including state action and customer demand; and motivations including pride in work, customer care and satisfaction, maintaining a viable business and working relationships.Research limitations/implicationsThe participants were a small, mixed group in terms of firm size and specialisation. The qualitative approach adopted provided detailed insights but does not make claims for statistical generalisability or representativeness of the findings. Future work could look to extend the findings with a statistically representative survey.Practical implicationsFor a successful transition to high standards of building performance, modelling is not enough. Initiatives are needed to address the multiple factors which determine engagement in energy-efficient retrofit: capacities, opportunities and motivations. The desire of RMI practitioners to meet customer expectations could be used to develop pragmatic building performance evaluation, guided by householder satisfaction criteria.Originality/valueThe study examined the attitudes and experiences of an under-researched sector who are essential to the delivery of improved building performance. This study makes a novel contribution by applying an established psychological model of behaviour change, the capability, opportunity, motivation – behaviour model, for the first time in this domain. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation Emerald Publishing

Engaging UK repair–maintain–improve practitioners in improved building performance

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References (44)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2398-4708
DOI
10.1108/ijbpa-03-2021-0042
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

To improve building performance and meet statutory carbon reduction targets, a radical transformation of existing UK building stock is needed. Much previous research on building performance has focussed on large-scale construction. However, retrofit of existing housing stock – which will contribute the majority of the requisite efficiency improvement – is carried out by practitioners in the repair–maintain–improve (RMI) subsector. These practitioners are the sole traders and micro-firms who constitute two-fifths of employment in the construction sector. The study aims to examine the factors influencing these practitioners in RMI work to understand how better to engage them with improved building performance.Design/methodology/approachA total of 31 semi-structured interviews were conducted with RMI professionals from around the UK and analysed using template analysis.FindingsThe analysis identified capabilities of the practitioners who influence building performance, including knowledge and co-ordination of people and resources; opportunities including state action and customer demand; and motivations including pride in work, customer care and satisfaction, maintaining a viable business and working relationships.Research limitations/implicationsThe participants were a small, mixed group in terms of firm size and specialisation. The qualitative approach adopted provided detailed insights but does not make claims for statistical generalisability or representativeness of the findings. Future work could look to extend the findings with a statistically representative survey.Practical implicationsFor a successful transition to high standards of building performance, modelling is not enough. Initiatives are needed to address the multiple factors which determine engagement in energy-efficient retrofit: capacities, opportunities and motivations. The desire of RMI practitioners to meet customer expectations could be used to develop pragmatic building performance evaluation, guided by householder satisfaction criteria.Originality/valueThe study examined the attitudes and experiences of an under-researched sector who are essential to the delivery of improved building performance. This study makes a novel contribution by applying an established psychological model of behaviour change, the capability, opportunity, motivation – behaviour model, for the first time in this domain.

Journal

International Journal of Building Pathology and AdaptationEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 8, 2023

Keywords: Motivation; Repair-maintain-improve (RMI); Retrofit; Sustainable behaviour; Zero-carbon

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