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Documenting sustainability, stone by stone : climate change mitigation in the building sector with unnamed implications

Rahn, Gregor LU (2017) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20171
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
The building sector is the greatest single contributor to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. A change in the patterns of building practices has the potential to contribute to mitigate the sector’s CO 2 emissions. Contemporary governance mechanisms see Non-Governmental actors take a considerable proportion of the action with market mechanisms. Building Councils as multi-stakeholder, non-state actors have emerged as credible players in the sector, who work across governance levels and intend to mitigate the sector’s CO 2 emissions. The aim of this study is to identify institutional elements of the Building Councils’ work. I ask how Building Councils affect the adoption of their promoted building practice and what implications are... (More)
The building sector is the greatest single contributor to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. A change in the patterns of building practices has the potential to contribute to mitigate the sector’s CO 2 emissions. Contemporary governance mechanisms see Non-Governmental actors take a considerable proportion of the action with market mechanisms. Building Councils as multi-stakeholder, non-state actors have emerged as credible players in the sector, who work across governance levels and intend to mitigate the sector’s CO 2 emissions. The aim of this study is to identify institutional elements of the Building Councils’ work. I ask how Building Councils affect the adoption of their promoted building practice and what implications are unnamed in this process. I collect primary data from the Building Councils and interpret them using institutional theory.

I find that many Building Councils localise the sustainable building concept by primarily engaging nationally-rooted, credible building experts. They jointly design certification systems adhering to sustainable development principles. The certifications and Building Councils as multi-stakeholder organisations are appropriate forms in climate change governance. Many Building Councils train auditors and consultants which is a major institutional element in conjunction with the written documentation as a script to obtain a certification. I find the certification systems to posit a logic of appropriateness and shared logics of actions on mitigating climate change through marketisation. I identify three unnamed implications of their work: firstly, building certifications extend the appropriation of sustainable development by marketisation. Secondly, unknown decision making processes about the certification systems’ content blur responsibilities for climate change governance in the sector. Thirdly, building certifications do not break with global material extraction and their consequences. The normative sustainability concept, and as such nature itself, is check-listed and becomes a subject to economic rationality. Given these conclusions, I suggest research on traditional, local building methods that break with global material flows and technological lock-ins and how these can be successfully, locally mainstreamed. (Less)
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author
Rahn, Gregor LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
marketisation, institutionalisation, sustainable buildings, certification systems, sustainability science
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2017:020
language
English
id
8912782
date added to LUP
2017-06-09 15:14:02
date last changed
2017-06-09 15:14:02
@misc{8912782,
  abstract     = {The building sector is the greatest single contributor to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. A change in the patterns of building practices has the potential to contribute to mitigate the sector’s CO 2 emissions. Contemporary governance mechanisms see Non-Governmental actors take a considerable proportion of the action with market mechanisms. Building Councils as multi-stakeholder, non-state actors have emerged as credible players in the sector, who work across governance levels and intend to mitigate the sector’s CO 2 emissions. The aim of this study is to identify institutional elements of the Building Councils’ work. I ask how Building Councils affect the adoption of their promoted building practice and what implications are unnamed in this process. I collect primary data from the Building Councils and interpret them using institutional theory.

I find that many Building Councils localise the sustainable building concept by primarily engaging nationally-rooted, credible building experts. They jointly design certification systems adhering to sustainable development principles. The certifications and Building Councils as multi-stakeholder organisations are appropriate forms in climate change governance. Many Building Councils train auditors and consultants which is a major institutional element in conjunction with the written documentation as a script to obtain a certification. I find the certification systems to posit a logic of appropriateness and shared logics of actions on mitigating climate change through marketisation. I identify three unnamed implications of their work: firstly, building certifications extend the appropriation of sustainable development by marketisation. Secondly, unknown decision making processes about the certification systems’ content blur responsibilities for climate change governance in the sector. Thirdly, building certifications do not break with global material extraction and their consequences. The normative sustainability concept, and as such nature itself, is check-listed and becomes a subject to economic rationality. Given these conclusions, I suggest research on traditional, local building methods that break with global material flows and technological lock-ins and how these can be successfully, locally mainstreamed.},
  author       = {Rahn, Gregor},
  keyword      = {marketisation,institutionalisation,sustainable buildings,certification systems,sustainability science},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Documenting sustainability, stone by stone : climate change mitigation in the building sector with unnamed implications},
  year         = {2017},
}