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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: TS/I000895/1
Title: Building Banter
Principal Investigator: Milligan, Mr A
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Duncan of Jordanstone College
Organisation: University of Dundee
Scheme: Technology Programme
Starts: 01 September 2010 Ends: 31 October 2012 Value (£): 14,774
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Building Ops & Management Design Processes
Energy Efficiency
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Construction Environment
Related Grants:
TS/I000658/1 TS/I000631/1 TS/I000615/1
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Context: Reducing energy use and cutting CO2 emissions of 80% by 2050 is a target for UK government, a driver affecting society, and a focus for collaboration between research and industry. A contributing factor in energy use and CO2 emissions is the UK building industry which accounts for 45% of CO2 emissions overall, with 18% of CO2 emissions coming from non-domestic buildings. As new build becomes increasingly unsustainable, how we rethink the spaces we work within, and how we engage users in those buildings to become concerned for energy efficiency will demand user centred strategies that are innovative and engaging. Aims /Objectives: In the formal regimes of the workplace people can feel disengaged, disempowered and disinterested to take energy efficient actions. Parallel to formal patterns of work, employees adopt informal conversation, or banter, in the workplace. By exploiting everyday banter, and linking people, spaces and technologies, University of Dundee will contribute by developing early stage concept prototype workshops with users and will develop conversational interventions that links users actions to the buildings environmental systems and improve energy efficiency. These will be tested in specific locations in the Federal Mogul site. Conversations emerging from the workshop will be recorded to map the process and apply this to final stage consultation toolkit. Early stage prototypes will evolve from proven methods in research and manufacture sectors. These will co-opt existing software tools and connect these to personal electronic products that will be networked with building services to create a banter between users, site and energy efficiency. We will develop prototype solutions that are simple, novel and playful in nature and that will influence the final designs of conversational tools.The process will involve detailed site investigations where we shall test the effectiveness of prototype digital 'conversations' with an aim of influencing new patterns of behaviour and transforming working cultures and raise awareness of energy use, buildings systems and occupants actions. Potential Applications and Benefits: This project will lead to a transferrable model applicable to a wide range of non-domestic buildings and improve energy efficiency through the design of conversational tools developed through a user centred design process. This will be informed by a detailed case study, experience prototyping, and trial deployment within an industrial site. The developing action research methodology will then be transformed into a process toolkit which can be made available through a consultancy model; a key factor will be the early phase creative prototyping process that will be valuable to the sector as a means of directly engaging the workforce. Prototyping will augment existing building systems with low-cost sensors and use novel responses to develop empathy from users and heighten concern for energy efficiency. By involving users at this earl stage we will generate positive engagement when prototypes are on site. Interventions will communicate to the users of the building through intuitive interfaces, sensorial techniques and actuators, (eg a mobile phone sends a 'shiver' to an employee passing an open window that should be closed). These interventions will developed through scenario design process and iterative creative development. From this we will identify key energy saving opportunities and challenges within the trial building, and capture the perspectives, values and drivers affectng users' energy saving choice. Input at this stage will include expertise from Moika, Leeds, Arups.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.dundee.ac.uk