Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

New research: Eco-homes are too complicated

  • Comment

Residents living in low-energy, eco-homes have criticised the amount of technology installed in their homes

In a set of films produced by Sheffield Hallam University, tenants at three housing schemes across the UK said that they found the technology in their eco-homes confusing and complicated to use.

Marsh Grochowski’s Green Street in Nottingham was one of the schemes featured in the study. The scheme which completed in 2011 featured solar thermal hot water panels, photovoltaic panels, and MVHR.

Some residents were abandoning the homes’ complex manuals and opting for a trial and error approach and others turned to neighbours for advice on how to use the eco-features.

The research suggests that people could be missing out on the economic benefits of environmental features such as solar thermal hot water or photovoltaic panels.

Sheffield Hallam research fellow Aimee Walshaw, who led the project, is now calling on developers and housing associations to provide more education for tenants.

Aimee said: ‘Many respondents felt that the design of the home and its low energy features made it easier for them to save energy and live more sustainably.

‘But reported energy bills varied significantly between participants. Those who understood the technology within their homes tended to benefit from greater savings compared to their previous bills.

‘Most felt they had received limited inductions to their properties and the technology within it and some have struggled to get to grips with complex manuals, preferring to adopt a trial and error approach to operating the systems within the home.’

Subscribe to AJ for £3 per week

Subscribe today and receive 47 issues of the magazine, 12 issues of AJ Specification and full access to TheAJ.co.uk and the AJ Buildings Library

Are you a student?

Students can subscribe to the AJ for £8 per month or £1.60 per week! Click here to start receiving the most recommended magazine for architecture students

 

 

 

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.