Designing for residents: Building monitoring and co-creation in social housing renovation in the Netherlands

O. Guerra-Santin*, S. Boess, T. Konstantinou, N. Romero Herrera, T. Klein, S. Silvester

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)
92 Downloads (Pure)


Large differences between the expected and actual energy consumption have been found in energy efficient dwellings. Research has shown that these differences are partially caused by occupant behaviour. The financing and payback periods of low carbon technologies are often uncertain because of the impact of the occupants on building performance. This translates into a reluctance to invest in deep renovation projects. The goal of this design-inclusive research project is to develop a solution for zero energy renovation that reduces the uncertainty on building performance cause by occupants' behaviour by reducing the uncertainty in design decisions and energy calculations. This investigation focuses on the identification of building type specific occupants and their characteristics, requirements and living practices. This paper presents the user research approach developed for the renovation process. The approach consists of statistical analysis of Dutch households, a monitoring campaign in the area of study and co-creation research through mock-ups, enactments and interviews. Case studies results are presented to highlight the effect of different household types on energy consumption and occupants' requirements, and point at the importance of taking into account household typology and socio-economic characteristics in energy calculations or building simulations, as well as occupant requirements in the design process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-179
Number of pages16
JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Building monitoring
  • Building renovation
  • Co-creation
  • Design-inclusive research
  • Occupants' behaviour


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