Future-Proofed Design of Low-Energy Housing Developments: Case Studies from the UK and Sweden

  • Maria Christina GeorgiadouEmail author
Part of the Green Energy and Technology book series (GREEN)


This study examines the concept of ‘future-proofing’ the energy design of housing developments so as to achieve low levels of energy consumption and carbon emissions over their lifecycle. This refers particularly to the selection of fabric energy efficiency measures and onsite low- or zero-carbon technologies (microgeneration or local energy networks) at an early design stage. The research adopts a multiple case study method with data gathered from two ‘best-practice’ housing developments in the UK and Sweden, namely North West Cambridge (Cambridgeshire) and Välle Broar (Växjö). The research explores the future-proofed approaches used in the two cases in relation to a pre-established conceptual framework, which involves two aspects, namely adopting lifecycle thinking and accommodating risks and uncertainties. The cross-case analysis reveals that there is widespread experimentation, which demonstrates that future-proofing is still in its infancy. Drivers for future-proofing mostly prompt strategies to accommodate risks and uncertainties in the UK, whereas in Sweden, they lead to the adoption of lifecycle thinking. This is due to unique context-specific governance and institutional factors at both national (country) and local (case study) levels. The chapter concludes with the need to transfer knowledge to mainstream housing construction and inform policy-making in relation to long-term performance over a project’s full lifecycle.


Energy Future-proofing Housing developments Lifecycle Uncertainty 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Property and Construction, Faculty of Architecture and the Built EnvironmentUniversity of WestminsterLondonUK

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