Understanding public perceptions and experiences of low carbon building materials

Project: Research project (funded)Research

Project Details


By 2025 the construction sector must halve carbon emissions (relative to 1990). Most research to

date focuses on operational carbon with little consideration of the embodied carbon. Low carbon

materials have the potential to reduce both embodied and operational phases of emissions, but a

significant barrier to their use is public awareness and perceptions of these materials, which is an

under-explored area of research. This project will examine perceptions of not only material quality

and design but also co-benefits of the use of low carbon materials such as reducing fuel poverty and

improving indoor air quality. These issues are traditionally separated but if combined may provide a

compelling case for the use of low carbon building materials. This study, using a series of deliberative

workshops, will identify what, from the perspective of publics, barriers exist and opportunities could

be exploited to accelerate uptake of low carbon materials.

The project has four objectives: 1) explore publics perceptions of low carbon building materials,

including direct and co-benefits; 2) identify how public policy and designers could use evidence

generated; 3) develop a larger proposal for more detailed research to address any barriers identified

to low carbon material uptake and quantify co-benefits; 4) develop a network of interdisciplinary

researchers and stakeholders.
Effective start/end date17/05/1616/05/17