A multidisciplinary literature review of low and zero carbon technologies into new housing
Bevan , W.J. and Lu, S.-L. (2012) A multidisciplinary literature review of low and zero carbon technologies into new housing. In: Proceedings of the 28th ARCOM Conference, 3rd - 5th September 2012, Edinburgh, UK, pp. 1435-1444.
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The UK Government is committed to all new homes being zero-carbon from 2016. The use of low and zero carbon (LZC) technologies is recognised by housing developers as being a key part of the solution to deliver against this zero-carbon target. The paper takes as its starting point that the selection of new technologies by firms is not a phenomenon which takes place within a rigid sphere of technical rationality (for example, Rip and Kemp, 1998). Rather, technology forms and diffusion trajectories are driven and shaped by myriad socio-technical structures, interests and logics. A literature review is offered to contribute to a more critical and systemic foundation for understanding the socio-technical features of the selection of LZC technologies in new housing. The problem is investigated through a multidisciplinary lens consisting of two perspectives: technological and institutional. The synthesis of the perspectives crystallises the need to understand that the selection of LZC technologies by housing developers is not solely dependent on technical or economic efficiency, but on the emergent ‘fit’ between the intrinsic properties of the technologies, institutional logics and the interests and beliefs of various actors in the housing development process.