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The effectiveness of awareness tools on water use efficiency in university halls of residence

Wymer, C., Adeyeye, K., Robinson, D. and Hyde, K. (2014) The effectiveness of awareness tools on water use efficiency in university halls of residence. In: 40th IAHS World Congress on Housing: Sustainable Housing Construction, 16-19 Dec 2014, Funchal, Portugal.

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Abstract/Summary

Many areas in the UK show considerable water stress. The South East of England is one of these areas, and the current roll out of water meters provides the opportunity to measure water consumption in many properties. Where residents are not paying for their actual water usage, other means to promote water conservation behaviour becomes necessary. Previous studies do not always agree that labels attuning residents to the environmental impact of water use led to a reduction in water consumption. The aim of the study is to measure the effect on water savings after students awareness has been raised on their water use in communal kitchens, bathrooms and shower rooms. To implement the study, posters and stickers were positioned in strategic point-of-use locations in two University halls of residences of just fewer than 500 students. The messages on the publicity materials highlighted the amount of water used at key locations and fittings the students’ respective flats, associating this with key products and activities that are important to student life. Sub-meter readings were taken before and after the interventions to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. Residing students were also asked to feedback a few weeks after the program launch to evaluate the change in perception. The study found that the effectiveness of awareness tools in this context was negligible without further prompts to motivate students to take action. However, this was a short-term study and further studies are required.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Chemical Analysis Facility (CAF)
Faculty of Science > School of the Built Environment > Construction Management and Engineering > Innovative and Sustainable Technologies
Faculty of Science > School of the Built Environment > Construction Management and Engineering > Transition Pathways to a Low-Carbon Economy
Faculty of Science > School of the Built Environment > Architecture
ID Code:85975

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