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Articulating sustainable building: application of a network approach to a London case study

Spinks, M.B.S.W.; (2011) Articulating sustainable building: application of a network approach to a London case study. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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A building is not simply an outcome; and a sustainable building is not a fixed goal. They are more than structures contrived from planned associations amongst industry professionals. Instead, a building involves processes of engagement amongst different groups, technologies, materials and methods. It is these processes of socio-techno engagement which contribute to the uptake of the sustainability agenda, and in turn can create sustainability effects. The following research sets out problems associated with the traditional staged approach to development and conceptualisations of building sustainability as an output. It proposes instead a network approach as a conceptual framework for understanding processes of socio-techno network engagements with the sustainability agenda. To this end, three research questions are presented: one empirical, one analytical and one conceptual, each of which focuses on the application of a network approach to the study of urban development and the uptake of the sustainability agenda. The network approach adopted draws on key facets of Actor-network Theory and Social Network Analysis. A qualitative methodology is employed to investigate a case study London sustainable prime commercial building process: the PricewaterhouseCoopers new headquarters development, 7 More London. Analysis of interview data is coded and mapped using ATLAS.ti software. Empirical research focuses on identification of social and technical actors involved in building networks, and understanding the mobilisers and intents of their actions. There is also an explicit focus on boundary objects: how common objects and objectives, and translations of them, effectively facilitate and delimit engagement both in the development process and with the sustainability agenda. 5 key findings emerge from detailed analysis which collectively help answer the research questions and raises some new questions of their own. This thesis concludes with proposals for future research.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Articulating sustainable building: application of a network approach to a London case study
Language: English
Additional information: Permission for digitisation not received
UCL classification: UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School > Bartlett School of Planning
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1317803
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