Journal Article

Transdisciplinarity in energy retrofit: A conceptual framework


This study explores the role of Energy Retrofit (ER) in Low Carbon Transition (LCT). The literature recognises the need to move towards a transdisciplinary approach in ER, which encompasses multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity. However, the fragmentation between different disciplines remains a significant problem, mainly due to challenges associated with knowledge exchange across the allied disciplines that play a role in ER. The authors posit that ER projects has been conceptualised and implemented using a Systems perspective so that an integrated approach that is akin to transdisciplinarity could become commonplace. Against this background, the aim of this paper is to establish to what extent ER has been conceptualised as a System in the literature so that complexities can effectively be managed through a transdisciplinary approach. This work is based on a literature review of 136 peer-reviewed journal papers. The content analysis demonstrates that current research on transdisciplinarity in ER can be conceptualised in five categories and 15 lines of research. They are presented as a Conceptual Framework, which is this paper’s main contribution to existing knowledge. It reveals the direction of innovation in ER for LCT, and is illustrated as a cognitive map. This map exposes the current fragmentation implicit in the literature, and proposes critical connections that need to be established for a transdisciplinary approach. It also shows that the discourse on LCT changed by moving beyond the building scale; and recognising the need to embrace disruptive and local technologies, and integrating the social and technical aspects of ER. Innovative technical solutions and robust information modelling approaches emerge as key vehicles towards making decisions that pay regard to the economic, social and technical factors and that empower the prosumers to play an active role in LCT.

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Sibilla, Maurizio
Kurul, Esra

Oxford Brookes departments

School of the Built Environment


Year of publication: 2019
Date of RADAR deposit: 2019-11-25

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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