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Framing evidence: policy design for the zero carbon home

Schweber, L., Lees, T. and Torriti, J. (2015) Framing evidence: policy design for the zero carbon home. Building Research and Information, 43 (4). pp. 420-434. ISSN 1466-4321

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/09613218.2015.1004658

Abstract/Summary

In 2006 the UK government announced a move to zero carbon homes by 2016. The demand posed a major challenge to policy makers and construction professionals entailing a protracted process of policy design. The task of giving content to this target is used to explore the role of evidence in the policy process. Whereas much literature on policy and evidence treats evidence as an external input, independent of politics, this paper explores the ongoing mutual constitution of both. Drawing on theories of policy framing and the sociology of classification, the account follows the story of a policy for Zero Carbon Homes from the parameters and values used to specify the target. Particular attention is given to the role of Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIAs) and to the creation of a new policy venue, the Zero Carbon Hub. The analysis underlines the way in which the choices about how to model and measure the aims potentially transforms them, the importance of policy venues for transparency and the role of RIAs in the authorization of particular definitions. A more transparent, open approach to policy formulation is needed in which the framing of evidence is recognized as an integral part of the policy process.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of the Built Environment > Construction Management and Engineering > Transition Pathways to a Low-Carbon Economy
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Energy Research
ID Code:39054
Uncontrolled Keywords:building regulations, energy policy, evidence-based policy, net-zero, policy design, policy formation, public policy, Regulatory Impact Assessments, zero-carbon
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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