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A communication platform to facilitate knowledge transfer between different stakeholder groups in sustainable student accommodation design

Chen, Bing (2009) A communication platform to facilitate knowledge transfer between different stakeholder groups in sustainable student accommodation design. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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It is widely acknowledged that sustainability principles should be addressed in the housing market to tackle climate change. In this research, particular attention is paid to latent issues (people's knowledge, motives and values) related to energy saving and carbon reductions in the operational phase of house occupation. In this research, design process is described as a transfer between areas of knowledge bearing on a particular project, aiming for consensus of problem solving. Hence better results can be expected if a close consensus on the alternative options could be achieved between different stakeholder groups. However, stakeholders from different groups often have different systems for value judgement in reality and it is difficult to get the message across in the design decision-making process. To provide a deep insight into the given phenomena, this research explores priority variances between four key stakeholder groups in terms of student accommodation design: designers, clients, occupants and legislators. A multi-strategy research framework is designed for the collection and analysis of data. In this hierarchical context, consultation responses from different stakeholder groups are compared against an agreed set of issues (drawn from EcoHomes). Among these four key stakeholder groups, particular attention is paid to the Occupant Group as its members, student residents (both future housing designers and current housing occupants), are supposed to be better educated on sustainability issues and have a positive effect, through changes in their attitudes, social values and inspirations (willingness to change their lifestyles towards greater environmental sensitivity), over the vast campaigns of education, debate and public participation. It is found that current architectural education frequently overlooks that adapting to climate change could involve carbon-intensive actions - though architectural students have had a general awareness of sustainability principles, it has so far made limited impact on their design protocols or lifestyle choices. Other important findings, such as the interrelationship between education and its effect on student residents' environmental awareness and social desirability, can be fed back into the socio-technical research model (e. g. Bayesian Belief Network model) or used to inform current sustainability-related education. The significant priority variances between different stakeholder groups are also specified. It is concluded that a complete consensus across all stakeholders is unlikely to be achieved in the near future. To achieve better design results, therefore, a communication platform is proposed to facilitate knowledge transfer. Two approaches are addressed to introduce the principle of trans-disciplinary communication: a common language and a broader collaborative decision- making process. Furthermore, by criticising the weighting exercise underpinned BRE's EcoHomes, a Code for Sustainable Student Accommodation (CSSA) is proposed. Rather than achieving a broad consensus, it represents opinions from all levels of decision-makers and acknowledges the priority variances within and between them. As an exploratory case study, the weighting method of CSSA needs to be further verified and developed in the future for legitimate purpose. All research findings are explored and interpreted to the degree of an architect's knowledge level, which reflects the researcher's personal values.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Architecture (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.505473
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2014 14:43
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2014 14:43
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6131

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