fredag 16. januar 2015

Crafting climate transitions from below

By Roger Andre Søraa, PhD candidate at Center for Technology and Society Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture, NTNU.

The role of craftspeople in climate-friendly buildings

There are about 2.4 million private-residences in Norway. Altogether, Norwegian buildings account for approximately 40% of all land-energy usage. Building and renovating to more climate-friendly houses, for example passive-houses and low-energy houses, can greatly lower the national energy usage. Many interesting projects have been made and are underway, like Powerhouse Brattøra, shown below. 

But who will do the actual building, and what is their role? 
One thing is to state climate-friendlier houses as a political goal, another is to actually implement it in society. This requires an enrollment of many different actors, from architects, engineers and policy-makers – to craftspeople who will do the actual renovating or building of the houses. An important political goal has been to increase craftspeople’s knowledge and expertise as energy-advisors, particularly through the Low-Energy-Program and Enova

This program aims to educate, register and list craftspeople (and others with similar expertise) as energy-advisors. Buildings- and house owners are then able to search and contact these advisors through the programs web-page. There are also other ways to call oneself a energy-advisor, as the title is not protected.
Our project aims to research the role of craftspeople as energy-advisors. What is their expertise? Are their voices heard, if so, in which way? How does the status of craftspeople affect the situation, and how is craft-professions represented in society? We are also discussing how Norway can strengthen its craft-education, by comparing with other countries.

This will primarily be done by interviewing and observing craftspeople at work as energy advisors. Most research on the topic is done top-down, going from policy-makers, but here we wish to take the opposite approach – as one cannot build a roof without walls. Our grounding is that craftspeople, who build both walls and roofs eventually, needs to be taken into account when discussing (and solving?) the building controversies of the future.
To read more about the project, please visit our homepage.


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