Exploring Social Dimensions of Achieving Energy Efficiency in Urban Housing Design - A Case Study from Hanoi (Vietnam)
Keywords:Energy Efficiency, Public Awareness, Usersâ€™ Behaviour, Solutions, Urban Housing Design and Management, Hanoi, Digitalisation
Achieving energy efficiency is widely regarded as the first bold step in paving the way for sustainable architecture to take shape. In Vietnam, energy efficiency has been mostly considered in technical aspects so far. Social dimensions, which are equally essential in the context of such a fast-developing country as Vietnam, have not yet been properly investigated. In fact, research projects only deal with affordability, amortisation and difficulties to overcome in view of state management and energy policy making. However, actually, social dimensions cover a much broader spectrum than what many people often imagine. Thus, by means of surveys, analyses of data and interviews, the author examines the following social issues of using energy at building level with 190 households in Hanoi: awareness of the importance of saving energy and using renewable energy at home, usersâ€™ behaviour and application of (and readiness for) more energy-efficient solutions and obstacles on the way to achieve energy efficiency. The results and arguments will help planners, designers and engineers understand better the current situation before trying to take action in order to meet the public demand in urban housing design and management towards energy efficiency. In this regard, public awareness plays a key role, but having input data for a more efficient housing design and a better project management policy is also very important, requiring a more systematic and larger-scale study on household energy use. Without digitalisation as a new method of site surveying and data collecting, this aim might never be fulfilled.
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