Emergent practices of an environmental standard

Isabel Shaw, Ritsuko Ozaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Recent climate change statistics attribute over a quarter of carbon emissions to residential energy use in the United Kingdom. To address this, a building standard (Code for Sustainable Homes) was introduced to aim to reduce the levels of carbon dioxide emissions and energy consumption. This paper analyzes how such an environmental standard reconfigures the sociotechnological relations and practices of housing professionals that design, construct, and manage social housing. We focus on how actors engage with the standard’s recommendation for incorporating low and zero carbon technologies into new buildings. We identify diverse practices that emerge from these engagements, which, we contend, have significant consequences for the working relationships of professional actors and for renewable energy provision. By being entwined in, and generative of actors’ practices, we argue that the Code becomes part of the sociotechnological relationships and infrastructures that shape energy provision.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-242
JournalScience, Technology and Human Values
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2015


  • Environmental practices
  • standard
  • politics
  • power
  • governance

Cite this

Shaw, I., & Ozaki, R. (2015). Emergent practices of an environmental standard. Science, Technology and Human Values, 41(2), 219-242. https://doi.org/10.1177/0162243915589765