Implementing energy measures in renovations for multi-family dwellings : Influence and practice of professionals

Abstract: Aging buildings will sooner or later be in need of renovation, which opens opportunities to reduce energy use. Even if economically feasible energy measures or technologies exist, they are not always implemented, leading to an energy efficiency gap. This dissertation deals with how energy measures are handled and why they are enabled or disabled during the planning and design of renovations. During renovations, different kinds of building professionals are engaged, here referred to as middle professionals. The meeting practice of the professionals is investigated, with a focus on how the middle professionals exert influence from the middle-out and to the top and bottom, and how and why they enable or disable measures aimed at energy efficiency or reduction. Three renovation projects are followed in the municipality-owned housing company Stångåstaden, in Linköping, Sweden. The housing company’s goal is to reduce the amount of purchased energy by 25% by 2025. Methods applied during the research are semi-structured interviews, participant observations and document analysis. The conclusions show that energy measures were implemented, but more can be done in renovations. Predefined meeting agendas make the process efficient but not flexible, thus it can be difficult to introduce innovations and alternative ways of thinking into the process. The professionals usually selected measures they had used before. Energy calculations attracted little interest compared to the aggregated knowledge from previous projects, and experience and tacit knowledge were highly valued. This and more lead to a renovation process where it is difficult for energy to enter the current meeting practice.

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