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A Sociology of Energy, Buildings and the Environment: Constructing Knowledge, Designing Practice

Handbook / Manual

By: Simon Guy and Elizabeth Shove


Hardback | Dec 2000 | #121538 | ISBN: 0415182697
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £105.00 $137/€119 approx

About this book

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.


Part I. Introduction 1. Environmental sociology and energy efficiency 2. Engaging with energy and buildings 3. Science, knowledge and practice Part II. Building Research Environments 4. Defining energy research 5. Comparing research environments: i. Close communities ii. Co-ordinated contractors iii. Contracting knowledge iv. Networking expertise 6. Positioning energy efficiency 7. Changing research environments Part III. Energy Knowledges 8. Constructing conventions 9. Abstracting knowledge: capturing solar energy 10. Building knowledge: demonstrations and case studies 11. Replicating knowledges: i. Design Tools ii. Case studies 12. Converging conventions Part IV. Theories of Knowledge and Practice 13. Theories of technical change: i. Barriers to energy efficiency ii. Leaping the barriers 14. Changing course 15. Following energy efficiency Part V. The Politics of Insulation 16. Conventional explanations 17. Culture of energy conservation: i. Denmark ii. Sweden iii. France iv. The European insulation industry 18. Filling the gap: i. First fillings 1959-1974 ii. Curbing the cowboys 1975-1981 iii. Foam fears 1981-1983 iv. Fibre Wars 1984-1992 19. Government, industry and consumer interaction Part VI. Organising Design: Housing and Energy Efficiency 20. Best practice and decision-making 21. Contexts of action: i. Shifting associations ii. Local pressures iii. Private dilemmas 22. Context, change and choice Part VII. Developing Interests: Office Buildings and Barriers 23. Property relationships: i. Investing and exchanging ii. Nesting and using iii. Globalising design 24. Fluctuating priorities Part VIII. Conclusions 25. Understanding energy efficiency 26. Technical convergence, cultural diversity 27. Reconstructing research

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