Abstract

When implementing energy-efficient housing concepts in practice, designers often apply an object-centred design approach that generates a static built environment, causing higher material consumption, building costs and actual energy demands when the building is in use. To provide an alternative solution for current energy-efficient renovation concepts, previous research suggests a user-centred approach which considers dynamic residents and varying conditions throughout the seasons. The approach aims to promote more efficient occupant behaviour to decrease the actual energy demand by enabling a dynamic way of living throughout the seasons. The research hypothesis is that decreasing the actual energy demand of the resident by means of a user-centred design approach can limit the need for additional quantities of materials and renovation costs (resource-efficiency). In this context, the shift from an object-centred approach for energy-efficiency to a user-centred approach for resource-efficiency is tested by means of an educational study within the design studio ‘Zero Pentathlon: sustainable housing renovation’ at Hasselt University, Belgium. The paper presents a critical reflection on the students’ analyses of dynamic residents, the resulting dynamic design concepts, and the effect of the user-centred approach on the energy-efficiency of the building. The paper finds that the resulting designs which best enable a dynamic way of living throughout the seasons come from students who analysed the dynamic properties of residents more in-depth. These designs promote efficient occupant behaviour and show potential to contribute to the energy-efficiency of the building. However, it is also concluded that it was challenging for all students to create a synergy and incorporate both the analysis of residents and analysis of the built environment within a resource-efficient building design. The findings will serve as input for future research to further develop an alternative user- centred design methodology for resource-efficient building.

Keywords:

energy efficiency; educational study; user-centred design approach; resource-efficient renovations

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 25th, 12:00 AM

Shifting Towards a User-Centred Approach for Resource-Efficient Building: lessons from an educational study

When implementing energy-efficient housing concepts in practice, designers often apply an object-centred design approach that generates a static built environment, causing higher material consumption, building costs and actual energy demands when the building is in use. To provide an alternative solution for current energy-efficient renovation concepts, previous research suggests a user-centred approach which considers dynamic residents and varying conditions throughout the seasons. The approach aims to promote more efficient occupant behaviour to decrease the actual energy demand by enabling a dynamic way of living throughout the seasons. The research hypothesis is that decreasing the actual energy demand of the resident by means of a user-centred design approach can limit the need for additional quantities of materials and renovation costs (resource-efficiency). In this context, the shift from an object-centred approach for energy-efficiency to a user-centred approach for resource-efficiency is tested by means of an educational study within the design studio ‘Zero Pentathlon: sustainable housing renovation’ at Hasselt University, Belgium. The paper presents a critical reflection on the students’ analyses of dynamic residents, the resulting dynamic design concepts, and the effect of the user-centred approach on the energy-efficiency of the building. The paper finds that the resulting designs which best enable a dynamic way of living throughout the seasons come from students who analysed the dynamic properties of residents more in-depth. These designs promote efficient occupant behaviour and show potential to contribute to the energy-efficiency of the building. However, it is also concluded that it was challenging for all students to create a synergy and incorporate both the analysis of residents and analysis of the built environment within a resource-efficient building design. The findings will serve as input for future research to further develop an alternative user- centred design methodology for resource-efficient building.

 

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