Everyone in the LoLo community would like to congratulate Carrie Behar on passing her viva with minor corrections in January 2016.
Her thesis title is “A socio-technical perspective of ventilation practices in UK social housing with whole house ventilation systems; design, everyday life and change”.
Carrie tells us about her work and time with the LoLo CDT:
What was it about?
I was trying to find out how people adapted to living with new types of ventilation system which are typically installed in energy efficient housing in the UK. There seems to be an expectation and assumption that a new technology will somehow persuade people to ventilate in a completely different way, but this did not turn out to be the case. My research revealed that the process of change is slow and upredictable and not always aligned with designers’ intentions for sustainable lifestyles. The thesis highlights the need to consider how occupants’ ventilation practices are shaped during the design, construction and handover of new low energy housing to ensure that new homes can enable, and perhaps even encourage, people to live comfortably yet with minimum resource use
What were the highlights of LoLo?
My personal highlight was meeting my future husband on day one of the LoLo programme! The rest of the PhD was also a very positive experience and I enjoyed the camaraderie of my peers, all of whom were exremely passionate about making a difference and reducing energy consumption within the built environment. I have fond memories of sunny study trips to Cambridge and a huge snowball fight in Loughborough. My research took me into people’s houses and I enjoyed the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and hear about their experiences of living in their new homes. For a former architect, the chance to hear first-hand from a building user’s perspective was both fascinating and humbling.
What are you doing now?
I completed my PhD in spring 2016 and am currently working as a Senior Sustainability Consultant at Useful Simple Projects. We are a group of sustainability professionals providing strategic and technical consultancy services for the built environment. I enjoy the challenge of working across a broad set of environmental, social and economic themes on projects ranging from developing corporate sustainability strategies for well-known brands, to reviewing sustainable development opportunities for exciting new infrastructure and construction projects. I also teach a module on Post Occupancy Evaluation for the MSc Environmental Design and Engineering course at UCL and am visiting sustainable design tutor on a number of university courses.