Accepted paper:

Using boundary object-theory as a framework for understanding adoption of renewable energy innovations in housing: building and HPAC -plan

Authors:

Mika Nieminen (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland)
Maria Akerman (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland)

Paper short abstract:

The paper explores the potential of the concept of boundary object in shedding light on the dynamics of introducing disruptive modes of distributed energy production for builders with a particular attention to translating expertise across professional spheres and between consumers and experts.

Paper long abstract:

In recent STS discussions on sustainability transitions, systemic perspectives (e.g. Seyfang & Axeltine 2012) and social acceptance have been identified as major factors in adopting renewable energy innovations (e.g. Wustenhagen et al. 2007; Ruggiero et al. 2014). This is in-line with the findings of our case study on energy choices made at the construction phase of buildings in Finland. It seems that considering energy choices other than business as usual falls into the blind spot in the expert communication between key actors of construction process, namely architects, HVAC designers, construction companies, energy suppliers and consumers. Following from this, we claim that micro level interaction between various actors in the design and construction phase of building is a key factor in the systemic transition towards renewable energy in building sector. This emphasises the importance of intercultural communication between different communities of practice and social worlds. Based on our case study, our paper explores the potential of the concept of boundary object in shedding light on the dynamics of introducing disruptive modes of distributed energy production for builders with a particular attention to translating expertise across various professional spheres and between consumers and experts.

panel A11
Encountering energy in systems and everyday spaces