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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/H051082/1
Title: Conditioning Demand - Older People, Diversity and Thermal Experience
Principal Investigator: Guy, Professor S
Other Investigators:
Devine-Wright, Professor P Walker, Professor GP Tweed, Professor C
Brand, Dr RG
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Environment and Development
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 10 January 2011 Ends: 31 July 2013 Value (£): 748,672
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Building Ops & Management Construction Ops & Management
Energy Efficiency
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Construction Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
18 Mar 2010 People Energy and Buildings Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The goal of this project is to understand the diversity and dynamics of thermal experiences in an ageing society and their implications for current and future energy consumption. The project team will investigate the issue of energy consumption as a socio-technical phenomenon by unpacking the social and material dimensions of energy and carbon challenges related to 'thermal experience' in domestic settings in the UK and France. The empirical research follows two key forms of future change: the demographic trend of an ageing society and the development of energy-efficient technologies. Our aim is not only to understand the implications of these two key dimensions of social and technological change, but also to detect potential synergies, gaps, and mismatches between them as they relate to residential thermal experience.The methodological approach combines qualitative, quantitative, visual, and spatial methods in two work packages. In the first work package, the project team will interview older residents across a range of domestic living situations and socio-economic categories to understand the diversity of thermal experiences within this population group. Interviews will take place in the interviewees' domestic settings to allow the researchers to collect data on the spatial and material aspects related to thermal experience. In the second work package, the project team will study how older individuals are adopting energy-efficient technologies that alter thermal experience, including heat pumps, solar hot water, and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery. The researchers will again interview older residents in their domestic settings but will expand the interview pool to include those actors who are engaged in the promulgation of the energy-efficient technologies, including energy modellers, technology designers, installers, and building maintenance and operations personnel.The empirical data from the work packages will be systematically analysed by the project team using qualitative data analysis software and the findings will be disseminated on the project website, through academic and trade journals, and at various conferences. The outcomes of the project will be relevant to a diverse array of disciplinary communities, including scholars of sociology, architecture, urban planning, engineering, science and technology studies, geography, and environmental psychology. The researchers will also reach out to non-academic stakeholders including NGOs, community organisations, and the general public by elucidating the multiple factors that shape thermal experience. Finally, the project will build research capacity in the study of people, energy, and buildings by training four post-doctoral researchers as well as an interlinked cohort of doctoral students and EDF's research and development group.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk