Abstract: Low carbon homes are often designed to accommodate advanced heating control technologies. These technologies are expected to contribute to better performing buildings and a comfortable indoor environment. Recent research focusing on the role of the occupants’ interaction with heating controls has identified a number of areas that can influence the in-situ performance of the heating systems installed. Complex interfaces, non user friendly programming instructions, poor functionality as well as badly located controls can all lead to poorly performing homes and reduced indoor comfort. Whilst increasing efforts have been made to better understand residents’ engagement with heating control systems in a range of housing types, there is a lack of evidence on the ways residents manage and adapt comfort in a low carbon homes taking into account the wider context of a development. This paper draws on residents’ experiences across 40 dwellings in a recently completed innovative low carbon residential development in the UK. The study seeks to extend existing knowledge on ways residents manage comfort in their homes with a specific focus on heating practices in low carbon developments. Implications of the research are twofold. First, the study contributes to a better understanding of the emerging roles of motivations, expectations and mitigation patterns in living in domestic low carbon environments. Second, there are implications for design professions to take account of the potential implications specific physical ‘prompts’ such as windows, balconies and wallspace can have on the ways comfort is ‘controlled’ within a home. There are also implications for national and international energy policies on low carbon developments specifically in relation to heating.
Oliveira, S., Marco, E., Gething, B., Agha-Hossein, M., & Kougionis, T. (2017, July). Heated living - Residents valuation of heating practices in low carbon architecture. Paper presented at Design to thrive