The construction of the expertise in energy by the "self-refurbishers" in rural areas

Abstract : As a result of the changes on the comfort criteria and the social representations on the own house's energy efficiency, the field of building or renovation practices directly managed by inhabitants, becomes a topic of major importance for upgrading the housing stock. We suggest that these procedures can play a significant role for a wide range of refurbishing works that cannot be handled by conventional construction methods. Because of their approach more holistic and inclusive, these practices are better suited to face the economical, social and cultural issues inherent to housing renovation. This paper focuses on house upgrading for energy efficiency through " self-refurbishment " methods. We consider self-refurbishment as an inhabitant practice that gathers together activities arising from the pragmatic sphere of housing (from maintenance to self-building) and the private dimension of the construction of home and hominess (from Do It Yourself to interior design). In particular, the research main interests are to trace the inhabitants' procedures for learning how to build by themselves, to clarify their decision making process and to understand the role of energy in the construction of their building expertise. The research method is based on a qualitative social approach to energy. We conducted semi-directive interviews focused on the inhabitants' story in the different stages of their works: project conception and early enquiries; techniques learning and their implementation; systems management; house maintenance; systems renewal. The main topics were faced throughout the study of the inhabitants' story of their house works. The interviews were divided into three complementary approaches: the narration of their memories of works; the guided-explained visit of the house; the in-depth stories arising from personal documents (e.g., pictures, invoices, sketches, drawings). This research was conducted on eleven case studies in Northwest France, which constituted a diversified sampling of sites, housing typol-ogies, inhabitants' profiles and energy approach. As a result, the paper analyses the main constructs of the self-refurbishers expertise. Firstly, we study the motivations of inhabitants to build by themselves, which are strongly correlated with their previous experiences and their way of life. Secondly, the inquiries show the several ways of the inhabitants to create their expertise in energy according to the specific features of their projects as well as their personal network of both amateurs and professional actors. Thirdly, the experience reveals that these projects are characterized by the long-term in all their phases; they are even considered by the inhabitants such as endless works. Lastly, we highlight that energy consumption, instead of being directly dealt, seems to be intermingled with personal, social or economical criteria. Energy is part of a set of factors in the inhabitants' thinking, where the notion of comfort and the imaginary of energy efficiency influence both technical solutions and indoor atmospheres.
Type de document :
Communication dans un congrès
2èmes Journées Internationales de Sociologie de l'Energie. Les sociétés contemporaines à l'épreuve des transitions énergétiques, Jul 2015, Tours, France
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Dernière modification le : mardi 24 juillet 2018 - 13:42:01
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Ignacio Requena-Ruiz, Céline Drozd, Kévin Mahé, Daniel Siret. The construction of the expertise in energy by the "self-refurbishers" in rural areas. 2èmes Journées Internationales de Sociologie de l'Energie. Les sociétés contemporaines à l'épreuve des transitions énergétiques, Jul 2015, Tours, France. 〈hal-01175877〉

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