Do regulations encourage innovation? The case of energy efficiency in housing.

Gann, David M, Wang, Yusi and Hawkins, Richard (1998) Do regulations encourage innovation? The case of energy efficiency in housing. Building Research and Information, 26. pp. 280-296.

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This paper addresses the impact of building regulations on constraints and drivers for innovation. It seeks
to clarify whether a supposed shift from prescriptive to performance-based regulations has improved the
environment for technical innovation in energy ef�cient housing in Britain. We argue that when
’performance-based’ building regulations are treated as static sets of technical requirements, their effect is
similar to more traditional prescriptive forms of regulation. A more progressive approach is possible in
which regulations can be used as part of a portfolio of policies aimed at improving performance. In this
mode, functional performance speci�cations can stimulate systemic innovation. A �exible ’performancebased’ form of standard could provide �rms with the freedom, market incentive and institutional
frameworks within which to innovate. The process itself could lead to information sharing and cooperation but for this to be achieved, competitiveness and regulatory policies need to be co-ordinated
better. Regulatory objectives and mechanisms for achieving them need to match. Regulations need to
accommodate technical change at different levels in the production process, including new product
development and systems integration.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:21
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2012 15:21
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