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Crafting environmental policies into action: Energy consulting practices of craftspeople

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This article discusses the emerging practices of craftspeople – particularly carpenters – in relation to policies of energy-efficient homes in the building sector. The Norwegian political goal of making buildings more sustainable and energy friendly by reducing 40 per cent of the energy used in the building sector provides new challenges for craftspeople who are tasked with effecting these changes. Based on qualitative interviews, this article explores how craftspeople working as ‘energy consultants’ form their new role as what I call ‘green-collar workers’. The article explains how energy policies are translated into physical buildings by energy consultants. Four practices of craftspeople working as energy consultants are analysed – the practices of economizing, controlling, coordinating and selling. These practices are part of a complex sustainable transition that is taking place in the building sector. As craftspeople are the workers actually enacting energy policies in the building sector by working with energy mitigation hands on (whilst also building on their traditional crafts experience), it is necessary to understand their practices to further reduce energy use in buildings.
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Keywords: buildings in transition; craftspeople; energy consulting; energy practices; environment policy; green-collar worker

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway

Publication date: September 1, 2018

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  • The aim of Craft Research is to advocate and promote current and emerging craft research, including research into materials, processes, methods, concepts, aesthetic and style. This may be in any discipline area of the applied arts and crafts, including craft education.

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