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Beyond the technical: a snapshot of energy and buildings research

Schweber, L. and Leiringer, R. (2012) Beyond the technical: a snapshot of energy and buildings research. Building Research and Information, 40 (4). pp. 481-492. ISSN 0961-3218

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/09613218.2012.675713


The past decade has witnessed a sharp increase in published research on energy and buildings. This paper takes stock of work in this area, with a particular focus on construction research and the analysis of non-technical dimensions. While there is widespread recognition as to the importance of non-technical dimensions, research tends to be limited to individualistic studies of occupants and occupant behavior. In contrast, publications in the mainstream social science literature display a broader range of interests, including policy developments, structural constraints on the diffusion and use of new technologies and the construction process itself. The growing interest of more generalist scholars in energy and buildings provides an opportunity for construction research to engage a wider audience. This would enrich the current research agenda, helping to address unanswered problems concerning the relatively weak impact of policy mechanisms and new technologies and the seeming recalcitrance of occupants. It would also help to promote the academic status of construction research as a field. This, in turn, depends on greater engagement with interpretivist types of analysis and theory building, thereby challenging deeply ingrained views on the nature and role of academic research in construction.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Energy Research
Science > School of the Built Environment > Organisation, People and Technology group
ID Code:27461
Additional Information:Special issue: Next challenges for energy and buildings research
Publisher:Taylor & Francis


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