Staff at Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO) – University of Copenhagen

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Drivers for retrofit: a sociocultural approach to houses and inhabitants

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Private households constitute approximately 30% of the total energy consumption in Denmark. The greatest potential for reducing energy consumption in private households is through retrofits of existing houses. One of the most common ways to promote retrofits is the act of sending an energy advisor to visit homeowners in order to explain the technological and economic advantages that arise from undertaking a retrofit. However, little is known about how homeowners make sense of retrofits. Based on an extensive anthropological fieldwork study of 12 Danish homeowners who had received energy advice, retrofits were investigated from the perspective of the everyday life of homeowners. Three social dimensions that played an important role when the people in the study discussed house renovation were identified and discussed: houses as part of homeowners’ life cycles and personal events; houses as frameworks for social relations; and houses as markers of social values and status. These results indicate a need to develop new strategies to promote retrofits more effectively, which focus less on the techno-economic aspects and more on the social dimensions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBuilding Research and Information
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)394-403
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ID: 189370837