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Strategies for improving energy saving behaviour in commercial buildings in Malaysia

Nurul Sakina Mokhtar Azizi (Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Auckland, Auckland City, New Zealand.)
Suzanne Wilkinson (Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Auckland, Auckland City, New Zealand.)
Elizabeth Fassman (Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Auckland, Auckland City, New Zealand)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 19 January 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the level of energy saving behaviour between green and conventional office buildings in Malaysia to determine if people in green buildings perform better energy saving behaviour than people in conventional buildings. The paper specifically focused on use of technology, computer usage and potential energy savings from that use. The paper then examines what strategies are used to encourage energy saving behaviour for building occupants.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaires were distributed to occupants in the buildings to evaluate the extent of energy saving behaviour practiced, and identify potential strategies to encourage energy saving behaviour.

Findings

The findings show better energy saving behaviour practice in green buildings and the paper show why this is the case. The recommended strategies to encourage energy saving behaviour are discussed, and include means of raising education awareness on energy efficiency among the occupants. This can be done through distribution of guidelines, posters, pamphlets and e-mails. Occupants can also be given live updates on the energy usage of the building. Briefing on the objectives and goals of the organisation’s commitment to energy efficiency can be given to newly employed staff. As seen in this paper, these multiple strategies have shown to be successful in encouraging energy saving behaviours.

Originality/value

To date, energy saving behaviour has been given less focus in improving green building performance. There is limited research that compares energy saving behaviour between green and conventional commercial buildings in Malaysia. The findings provide a better understanding on occupants’ behaviour in energy conservation and suggest strategies for future recommendation.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the University of Auckland, Ministry of Education Malaysia, and University Science Malaysia for funding this research. In addition, the authors also thank the building managers of the buildings used in this study for their cooperation.

Citation

Mokhtar Azizi, N.S., Wilkinson, S. and Fassman, E. (2015), "Strategies for improving energy saving behaviour in commercial buildings in Malaysia", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 73-90. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-04-2014-0054

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited