User evaluations of energy efficient buildings - literature review and further research
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAdvances in Building Energy Research. 2011, 5 (1), 109-127. 10.1080/17512549.2011.582350
This chapter gives an overview of research that describes user experiences with different types of energy-efficient buildings, focusing on indoor climate, technical operation, user attitudes and general satisfaction. Energy-efficient buildings are often rated better than conventional buildings on indoor climate, but on digging deeper, users have different concerns. The varying results from the user evaluations reflect that the quality of buildings differs. However, the complaints may also be a result of inappropriate use. The main aim of this chapter is to give guidelines for further research, based on existing user evaluations of energy-efficient buildings. Three important areas for further research on user evaluations could be identified. First, there is a shortage of research that takes into account the social context for evaluation; the social environment, the process of moving into an energy-efficient building and prior knowledge of environmental issues influence evaluation of the buildings. Energy-efficient buildings may also require specific architectural solutions and further research should consider architectural and aesthetic aspects in the evaluation. Research on the use and operation of energy-efficient buildings is increasing, but there is still a need to give more detailed attention to different ways of providing information and training in operation and use.