A socio-technical network approach to the adoption of low and zero carbon technologies in new housing
Bevan, W.J. and Lu, S.-L. (2012) A socio-technical network approach to the adoption of low and zero carbon technologies in new housing. In: CIB international Conference of W055, W065, W089, W118, TG76, TG78, TG81 and TG84 - Management of Construction: Research to Practice, 26th – 29th June 2012, Montreal, Canada.
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Housing in the UK accounts for 30.5% of all energy consumed and is responsible for 25% of all carbon emissions. The UK Government’s Code for Sustainable Homes requires all new homes to be zero carbon by 2016. The development and widespread diffusion of low and zero carbon (LZC) technologies is recognised as being a key solution for housing developers to deliver against this zero-carbon agenda. The innovation challenge to design and incorporate these technologies into housing developers’ standard design and production templates will usher in significant technical and commercial risks. In this paper we report early results from an ongoing Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council project looking at the innovation logic and trajectory of LZC technologies in new housing. The principal theoretical lens for the research is the socio-technical network approach which considers actors’ interests and interpretative flexibilities of technologies and how they negotiate and reproduce ‘acting spaces’ to shape, in this case, the selection and adoption of LZC technologies. The initial findings are revealing the form and operation of the technology networks around new housing developments as being very complex, involving a range of actors and viewpoints that vary for each housing development.