C19
Mainstreaming zero carbon buildings in Europe?

Convenors:
Michael Ornetzeder (Austrian Academy of Sciences)
Harald Rohracher (Linköping University)
Thomas Berker (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
Stream:
Confluence, collaboration and intersection
Location:
FASS Building Meeting Room 1
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

Creating zero carbon buildings has moved to the centre stages of political ambitions within contemporary sustainability policies. For this panel we aim to gather national case studies analysing recent and on-going efforts to eliminate carbon emissions related to buildings from an STS perspective.

Long abstract:

Creating zero carbon buildings has moved to the centre stages of political ambitions within contemporary sustainability policies. For this panel we aim to gather national case studies analysing recent and on-going efforts to eliminate carbon emissions related to buildings from an STS perspective. The contributions may engage with fundamental contemporary developments in the way buildings are regulated and built. The European Energy Performance in Buildings Directive forces national parliaments to introduce and reinforce energy demands in national building codes to reach "nearly zero energy" for all new buildings by 2020. It has been argued that complex domains should be regulated by modern reflexive regulation forms including policy mixes and advanced mechanisms. The adoption of this thinking has led to a broad variety of policy responses adopting soft law and hard law, prescriptive and performative regulation, subsidies, development programs, new standards, certifications etc. Voluntary certifications like the UK BREEAM or the German DGNB system that have been adopted by construction industries outside the UK and Germany. Bottom-up initiatives based on the activities of concerned architects and engineers have contributed to the diffusion of zero carbon technologies. The development of these and similar ways to define and implement sustainability in buildings and their translation into different regional and national settings offers a rich set of observations about the way private actors, associations, citizens, companies anticipate and contribute to the implementation of sustainable regulation in construction.