Exploring the influence of housing design and occupant environmental attitudes on energy and water usage

O'Callaghan, Ben, Green, Heather J., Hyde, Richard A., Wadley, David and Upadhyay, Anir (2012) Exploring the influence of housing design and occupant environmental attitudes on energy and water usage. Architectural Science Review, 55 3: 176-185. doi:10.1080/00038628.2012.693813

Author O'Callaghan, Ben
Green, Heather J.
Hyde, Richard A.
Wadley, David
Upadhyay, Anir
Title Exploring the influence of housing design and occupant environmental attitudes on energy and water usage
Journal name Architectural Science Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0003-8628
Publication date 2012-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/00038628.2012.693813
Volume 55
Issue 3
Start page 176
End page 185
Total pages 10
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Earthscan
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract Sustainable housing is intended to achieve a lower impact on the environment; however, to what extent occupants and their behaviour are a determinant in realising this goal is unclear. In this article occupant attitudes towards the environment are used as an indicator of behaviour while resource usage is used as an indicator for the environment. A study of occupants of sustainable and conventional housing is used to examine this question. The results show that the former use 75% less energy compared with those of conventional houses of the same age, in the same climate zone. More positive attitudes to environmental conservation correlated with lower energy use, but were not found to be a statistically significant predictor of energy use when analysed with other predictor variables. Hence, we argue that sustainable housing characteristics and associated technologies have a much higher weighting relative to occupant attitudinal factors. The data also suggest that the sustainable design of a detached house is associated with approximately double the reduction in energy consumption, compared with the influence of pro-environmental attitudes. Hence, sustainable attributes in the design of housing is a significant indicator in determining the resource usage of housing in this study. The implications of these results have an important part to play in the debate on influence of behavioural factors compared with technological factors in the drive to higher energy efficiency.
Keyword Energy consumption
Energy efficiency
Environmental attitude
Resource usage
Solar passive design
Sustainable design
Sustainable development
Utility consumption
Water consumption
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2013 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 21 Oct 2012, 00:15:25 EST by System User on behalf of School of Geography, Planning & Env Management