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Strategies and techniques to future‐proof the energy performance of housing developments

Maria‐Christina Georgiadou (Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK)
Theophilus Hacking (Programme for Sustainability Leadership, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK)

International Journal of Energy Sector Management

ISSN: 1750-6220

Article publication date: 22 June 2012

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate “best practice” building strategies and sustainability‐oriented techniques and tools used to assess the energy performance of housing developments. The objective is to propose guidelines that can integrate futures thinking into the selection of energy‐related design responses, such as materials, building components and energy systems, from the early project stages.

Design/methodology/approach

An interdisciplinary approach is adopted with the inclusion of social, economic and environmental aspects of the energy supply and demand. A multiple case study approach is employed, which focuses on the residential sector of European mixed‐use developments that represent sustainable communities of “best practice”.

Findings

The investigation of “best practice” housing developments reveals that the majority of design responses cover mainstream environmental design strategies. Energy efficiency measures are still the “low hanging fruit” towards meeting the sustainability objectives. In addition, established sustainability‐oriented techniques and tools used focus mostly on projections of almost certain facts rather than explorations of a portfolio of plausible futures.

Originality/value

The paper represents a shift away from the short‐term mindset that still dominates design and construction practices. It provides an overview of building strategies and decision‐support techniques and tools for improving and incentivising sustainable energy solutions over the long term.

Keywords

Citation

Georgiadou, M. and Hacking, T. (2012), "Strategies and techniques to future‐proof the energy performance of housing developments", International Journal of Energy Sector Management, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 160-174. https://doi.org/10.1108/17506221211242040

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited