Substantial interest in promoting healthier and low impact, environmentally "green" residential developments is growing to facilitate significant changes in living situations of residents and to reduce material consumption. Current research remains focused on technological efficiencies of high performance, "green" residential developments. While an important first step, there is a dearth of research analyzing post-occupancy consumption levels within residential developments to determine the relationship between household consumption, quality of life and residential design. This report aims to address how residential dwellings and user feedback can influence household consumption levels and behaviours in different building types. The report concludes that sustainability discourse has failed to deal adequately with the demand side of the ecological, political and cultural crisis. The social context must interact more aptly with efficiency measures to rethink labour and productivity while decreasing aggregate material consumption levels. Until sustainable options become easier, cheaper, and more convenient, behavioral change will remain reticent in efficacy and uptake. Appropriate solutions should adopt a suite of holistic and local approaches that are based on financial implications for consumers' and producers' choices. Ultimately, humanity and all living creatures are short changed when consumption and technology are not integrated with behavioural considerations.
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Funder: Real Estate Foundation of BC
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