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A persona-based approach to domestic energy retrofit

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journal contribution
posted on 13.05.2014, 14:18 by Victoria HainesVictoria Haines, Val MitchellVal Mitchell
In order to improve the efficiency of the housing stock successfully, the offered technical solutions also need to meet occupants' needs and match their aspirations. Owner-occupiers present particular challenges: conflicting demands on their use of time and financial resources and their role as decision-makers for their own domestic renovation. A persona-driven study (based on user-centred design) was undertaken to explore the varying behaviours, attitudes and motivations towards home improvement for owner-occupiers who live in 'hard to treat' solid-walled dwellings. Five evidence-based personas are constructed that reflect archetypes, based on the outcomes of a qualitative study involving 33 owner-occupier householders in the East Midlands region of the UK. The adoption of a persona-based approach in response to the socio-technical challenges of energy renovation is important for understanding the specific drivers and appropriate range of policy responses for each persona. The persona development process is described and the success of the approach is evaluated in relation to the needs of policy developers, energy providers and product developers. Tailoring strategies to suit different personas will considerably enhance the diffusion of policy goals for low-energy retrofit and also allow business and technology developers to target an appropriate user. © 2014 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis.


This work formed part of the CALEBRE Project funded by the Research Councils UK Energy Programme and E.ON, to whom the authors express their gratitude. It formed part of project CALEBRE (Consumer-Appealing Low Energy Technologies for Building Retrofitting) [grant number EP/G000387/1] funded by RCUK and E.ON.



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Building Research & Information






462 - 476


HAINES, V. and MITCHELL, V., 2014. A persona-based approach to domestic energy retrofit. Building Research and Information, 42 (4), pp. 462-476.


Taylor and Francis / © The Authors


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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Taylor and Francis under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ A separate file of personas is also included in the download.