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Buildings 2014, 4(4), 911-936; doi:10.3390/buildings4040911

Reducing Carbon from the “Middle-Out”: The Role of Builders in Domestic Refurbishment

Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK
An earlier version of this paper was presented at the ECEEE Summer Study: Killip, G.; Fawcett, T.; Janda, K.B. In Building expertise: Industry responses to the low-energy housing retrofit agenda in the UK and France, ECEEE Summer Study, Presqu’île de Giens, France, 3–8 June 2013; European Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
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Received: 29 July 2014 / Revised: 29 October 2014 / Accepted: 30 October 2014 / Published: 18 November 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Carbon Building Design)
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Abstract

A three-year research project explored the evolving level of “building expertise” for low-carbon housing refurbishment in the UK and France. With a focus on “middle actors” and the evolution of professional practice, this paper reports on “middle-out” responses from the housing retrofit supply chain to top-down policies promoting low-energy retrofits of existing homes. The two countries have comparable long-term policy goals for CO2 emissions reduction, but there are important differences between their more immediate initiatives to achieve a step-change in activity in the housing retrofit market. Industry responses to these various policy signals were explored in a series of semi-structured interviews with builders involved in innovative, low-energy refurbishment projects. Drawing mainly on four case studies of innovative business models, the paper highlights innovative practices and processes being proposed and trialled by “middle actors” in the building industry. We describe middle-out implications of these innovative practices: upstream to policy makers, downstream to clients, and sideways across refurbishment providers and the retrofit supply chain. View Full-Text
Keywords: building retrofitting; building trade; socio-technical; residential buildings; small and medium-sized enterprises; innovation; professional practices; middle actors; middle-out change building retrofitting; building trade; socio-technical; residential buildings; small and medium-sized enterprises; innovation; professional practices; middle actors; middle-out change
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Janda, K.B.; Killip, G.; Fawcett, T. Reducing Carbon from the “Middle-Out”: The Role of Builders in Domestic Refurbishment. Buildings 2014, 4, 911-936.

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