Journal article

Influencing energy and water use within a home system of practice

18 Oct 2017

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.
Approaches that attempt to influence resource use in the home often consider the building system alone, without due consideration of occupants and their practices. However, occupants interact with technology and ultimately affect energy and water metabolism in the home. This research used an explanatory design mixed method approach to investigate the energy and water use in eight homes over a two-year period, before and after an intervention based on persuasive behaviour change. Each home was considered as a system of practice and results were analysed in terms of overall resource reduction, changes in practice and changes made to the building systems. It was revealed that five of the homes succeeded in reducing their resource use through the two years. Most changes were achieved through affecting technology as an element of practice. Automation was shown to enable the dis-interlocking of practices from aligned and interlocked routines and can be considered an effective solution to influence resource use in the home.

1 January 2018
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