Sustainable practices in office buildings: Applying social practice theory and reflective design interventions

N.A. Romero Herrera, Jantien Doolaard, O. Guerra-Santin, Tomasz Jaskiewicz, David V. Keyson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Energy efficiency in office buildings has focused primarily on technological developments for the optimization of energy building performance. In this effort occupants’ behaviour has often been simplified or ignored. This in turn has resulted in solutions that either have a short-term impact on energy savings or in the long-term the measured impact differs largely from the theoretical estimations. A user-centric view is therefore needed to capture the complexity of occupants’ behaviour in the design of energy saving technologies. Social practices theory describes this complexity as the everyday practices that are characterized by interactions between people’s diverse sets of values and competences and the materials of the environment in which they engage in. Whereas people are constantly adapting their environment to meet their needs, they often perceive an ‘inability to act’ when explicitly asked to change. This opens an opportunity for the design research community to reconsider design interventions not as ends for behavioural change but as means to support practitioners in their discovery and appropriation of materials, competences and values to achieve optimal changes. From a design research perspective supporting these processes requires methods that a) empower occupants to create, test and assess interventions and b) fit in their everyday activities. This paper presents an in-situ and practice-based design process implemented in Living Lab settings with methods that aim to support a multidisciplinary team in the development of reflective design interventions to empower active involvement of building occupants in appropriating changes. The paper presents preliminary findings of an ongoing project and envisages future work to better understand hierarchy of practices and its potential impact on how occupants engage in changing activities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 4th European Conference on Behaviour and Energy Efficiency (Behave 2016)
EditorsMarta A. R Lopes, Carlos Henggeler Antunes, António Martins Gomes , Luís Silva
PublisherINESC Coimbra
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)978-989-95055-9-9
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventBEHAVE 2016 4th European Conference on Behaviour and Energy Efficiency, 8-9 September 2016, Coimbra, Portugal - University of Coimbra, Portugal, Coimbra, Portugal
Duration: 8 Sep 20169 Sep 2016
http://www.uc.pt/en/org/inescc/news_inescc/behave2016

Conference

ConferenceBEHAVE 2016 4th European Conference on Behaviour and Energy Efficiency, 8-9 September 2016, Coimbra, Portugal
Abbreviated titleBEHAVE2016
CountryPortugal
CityCoimbra
Period8/09/169/09/16
Internet address

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  • Cite this

    Romero Herrera, N. A., Doolaard, J., Guerra-Santin, O., Jaskiewicz, T., & Keyson, D. V. (2016). Sustainable practices in office buildings: Applying social practice theory and reflective design interventions. In M. A. R. Lopes, C. Henggeler Antunes, A. Martins Gomes , & L. Silva (Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th European Conference on Behaviour and Energy Efficiency (Behave 2016) INESC Coimbra.