Bringing the social sciences to the heart of environmental debate, this book demonstrates the relevance of sociological analysis for environmentally critical issues like energy consumption. Focusing on energy efficiency and the built environment, the authors take a critical look at the production and use of technical knowledge and energy-related expertise. Challenging the conventional assumptions of scientists and energy policy-makers, the book outlines a new role for social research and a new paradigm for environmental policy. Supporting the central argument are three key case studies: * A history of the insulation industry, illustrating the erratic character of technological innovation. * A review of housing development, challenging conventional notions of the factors behind standards of energy efficiency. * An analysis of new office building, throwing new light on the idea that technology transfer is impeded by non-technical barriers. Drawing upon a wide programme of empirical research, the authors extend the reach of sociology and of energy research and policy. This book, therefore, represents essential reading for sociologists, students of environmental topics, and energy policy-makers and practitioners.
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