Innovation towards low energy buildings and the role of intermediaries in the transition - review of scholarly case studies in Europe

Kivimaa, Paula and Martiskainen, Mari (2016) Innovation towards low energy buildings and the role of intermediaries in the transition - review of scholarly case studies in Europe. In: Kähkönen, Kalle and Keinänen, Marko (eds.) Proceedings of the CIB World Building Congress 2016: volume I - creating built environments of new opportunities. Tampere University of Technology. Department of Civil Engineering, Tampere, Finland, pp. 103-114. ISBN 9789521537417

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As buildings throughout their lifecycle account for circa 40% of total energy use in Europe, reducing energy use of the building stock is a key task. This task is, however, complicated by a range of factors, including slow renewal and renovation rates of buildings, multiple noncoordinated actors, conservative building practices, and limited competence to innovate. Drawing from academic literature published during 2005-2015, this paper carries out a case study review of low energy innovations in the European residential building sector, analysing their focus and drivers. Specific attention is paid to the roles that intermediary actors have in facilitating innovation processes and in creating new opportunities. The article addresses the following research questions: What is the current status and range of innovation and diffusion in the field described in zero carbon and/or low energy innovation scholarly case studies in Europe? What have been identified as the key factors influencing the development and diffusion of innovations in these case studies? And, what are the nature, type and influence of intermediaries contributing to the low energy building transition? The analysis of the case studies is informed by innovation studies, and specifically by the concepts of the multi-level perspective on socio-technical change and strategic niche management. We find that the qualitative case study literature on low energy building innovation is limited, particularly in the context of existing building stock. Environmental concerns, eco-social values, EU and national policies, and increasing energy prices have been the key drivers, while local authority agents as intermediaries have been important in several innovation processes. On the other hand, market, health and design related drivers were surprisingly rare.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: Low energy building, Building energy efficiency, Built environment, Innovation intermediary, Innovation
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
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Depositing User: Stacey Goldup
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2016 12:54
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 12:54
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