Towards a Sustainable aesthetics. Architects constructing energy efficient buildings
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The project is a study of the role architects play in the design of buildings in relation to the buildings’ energy standard. Prior research indicates that architects have a key function, as they will often act as co-ordinators in the designing process of a building project. At the same time the profession is traditionally strongly oriented towards form and aesthetics. The project tries to examine the following set of questions: -What view do architects have on energy and environmental issues in buildings, and how do they consider giving priority to energy efficiency compared to other aspects in the building process? -From where do architects get their knowledge of energy efficiency, and how updated will this knowledge usually be? -Which conditions may have an impact on architects’ opinion of energy efficiency? What might create a higher priority? -Which kinds of economic and public regulations have an impact on energy efficiency-decisions and to what extent is it possible to promote energy efficiency through this kind of measures? The project studies the values of the architect profession, their knowledge of energy efficiency, and their relevant professional strategies in relation to designing buildings in accordance with energy efficiency standards. The point is, however, not only to map out the architects’ attitudes. We are also interested in getting knowledge about how energy-efficiency is being integrated or not being integrated in the architects’ practice, and in providing more knowledge about the ways in which energy-efficiency are taken into consideration in building projects. On one hand, this is about studying how buildings and building projects are perceived. Should a building be practical or have mere symbolic values? Which premises are, in the view of the architects, creating possibilities or restrictions regarding the attention paid to energy efficiency? On the other hand, building projects are arenas of multi-disciplinarity, in the sense that different forms of professional knowledge have to be co-ordinated and negotiated, and the attention paid to energy efficiency has to be understood within this kind of multi-disciplinary dynamic. The project examines the role of the architect in this respect. The goal is to reveal different views and working methods among architects, and thereby have a basis for saying something about what could be effective strategies to influencing architects into taking energy efficiency into consideration to a larger extent. This is mainly done by interviewing architects and their colleagues in the building design process. The interviews are supplied by an analysis of relevant written material, mainly collected from Norwegian architect journals.