A mixed method approach is used to analyze everyday practice in 8 homes over a year.
Practices are performed in a sequential temporal spectrum as part of a routine.
Practices are influenced by the interlocked practices and routines of other occupants.
Highly interlocked and habitual practices are not easily influenced.
Automation can enable change by dis-interlocking practices from the home system.
Policy and regulations for residential houses often consider the physical system alone and tend to focus on the energy performance of the building. This ignores the effect of occupants’ everyday practices and their interaction with the building technologies. This research applies practice theory and the concept of system of practice to eight Australian homes with the objectives of providing a deeper understanding of the complexities of the home system as well as providing approaches to enable (rather than persuade) resource reduction. The homes were investigated through explanatory design mixed methods which combined results of one year of longitudinal quantitative data collection and home occupant interviews. The results revealed that practices are performed in a sequential temporal spectrum as part of a routine and are influenced by interlocked practices as well as interlocking routines from other home occupants. Practices also follow established daily patterns reflected by a frequency distribution curve where the standard deviation reflects the degree of habituality of the practice. Highly interlocked practices with a high degree of habituality are challenging to affect. However, automation could enable resource intensive activities to be dis-interlocked from an established routine and make change within the home system of practice easier and more flexible.
Industry misconceptions around high cost and poor market interest in energy efficient homes continue to obstruct the mass adoption of low carbon housing. Josh’s House demonstrates that low carbon housing is accessible and cost effective. The Star Performers series showcases how...Read more
In response to feedback, high-income households can reduce their energy use to a larger degree than low-income households (17% vs 3% reduction). This and other insights were gained by two rapid reviews into research, both Australian and International, on digital services and...Read more
A rapid review on green-rated office buildings, and their operational energy use, found that the conclusions of six studies ranged from the certified buildings performing worse, similarly or much better than the non-certified buildings in terms of energy usage intensity. Two...Read more
A persuasive behaviour change program is assessed from a practice theory approach.
Most changes involved alterations in the technology element of the practice.
Alterations in the meaning and skill elements of practice are challenging.
Automation enabled dis-interlocking changes from the home system of practice.
Emerging results from practice-based research demonstrate that energy efficient houses often do not meet theoretical energy use based on the current standards of residential buildings. A factor influencing this inconsistency is related to user behaviour and everyday practices.
Agent-based modelling has the potential to provide insight into complex energy transition dynamics. Despite a recent emphasis of research on agent-based modelling and on energy transitions, an overview of how the methodology may be of value to understanding transition processes is still missing from the literature.