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Fouseki, Kalliopi and Newton, D. and Camacho, K.S.M. and Nandi, S. and Koukou, T. Energy efficiency, thermal comfort, and heritage conservation in residential historic buildings as dynamic and systemic socio-cultural practices. Atmosphere, 11 (6).

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With buildings being responsible for nearly a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, intensive building decarbonization programs are in place worldwide, with unintended consequences for historic buildings. To this end, national and international guidance on energy effciency for historic buildings advocate for the adoption of a 'whole house approach' that integrates heritage values in energy effciency plans. Most guidance, though, relies on non-evidence based, pre-assumptions of residents' heritage values. And yet, unless we understand how and why residents negotiate their decisions between energy effciency, thermal comfort, and heritage conservation, such guidance will not be applicable. Despite the urgency to decarbonize the building stock, research on how inhabitants of old buildings make such decisions is extremely limited. It is also case-study specific, often lacking the required depth. To address this gap, this paper offers the first international, in-depth study on the topic. It does so through a rigorous double-coded, thematic analysis of 59 in-depth semi-structured interviews (totaling 206,771 words) carried out in Greece, Mexico, and the UK. The thematic analysis is combined with system dynamic analysis, essential for unveiling what parameters affect inhabitants' decisions over time. Drawing on theories on the dynamics of social practices, we conclude that the process of decision-making on energy effciency, thermal comfort improvement, and heritage conservation is a socio-cultural, dynamic practice, the change and continuation of which depends on how the following elements are connected or disconnected: materials (e.g., original features), competencies (e.g., restoration skills), resources (e.g., costs), values, space/environment (e.g., natural light), senses (e.g., thermal comfort), and time (e.g., years living in the house). The connection or disconnection of those elements will depend on (a) the nature of the context (e.g., rural, urban, conservation area); (b) the listing status; (c) age and construction materials of building; (d) local climate; and (e) ownership status. © 2020 by the authors.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: heritage values; energy efficiency; thermal comfort; heritage conservation; original features; system dynamics; social practices; decision-making; historic building
Subjects: English
English > Management and Case Studies
Depositing User: Susanna Carlsten
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2020 09:25
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2020 09:25

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