Energy Efficient Housing through Organized Interactions? Conceptualizing the Roles of Householders and Providers in Housing Retrofitting in the Netherlands and China

F.J. de Feijter*, B.J.M. van Vliet, G. Spaargaren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Energy saving is an explicit goal of housing retrofitting in both the Netherlands and China. Retrofit providers expect to achieve this goal by applying insulation to apartment buildings and improvements in heating, cooling and ventilation. The aim of this paper is to explore both conceptually and empirically the interactions between householders and retrofit providers. Interaction activities are conceptualized in a framework of overlapping practices of retrofitting and everyday life. Empirical material is derived from interviews with retrofit providers and householders in the Netherlands and China. This paper shows that full energy saving potential in housing retrofitting fails to be accomplished, due to a limited involvement of householders at the consumption junctions in retrofit processes. Central to this failure are the limited options for residents to share pre-retrofit living experiences, to test future housing equipment beforehand and to customize retrofit packages. Also post-retrofit educational support, evaluation and monitoring is falling short to engage householders in their appropriation of their retrofitted apartment.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalHousing, Theory and Society
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Aug 2019

Keywords

  • China
  • the Netherlands
  • housing retrofitting
  • providers-household interaction
  • householder participation
  • technology appropriation

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