Towards a Sustainable Building Approach: arenas of enactment, models of diffusion and the meaning of demnstration projects for change
Paper in proceedings, 2007
A considerable number of building projects develops today different local solutions to global problems, contributing to the complex definition of a Sustainable Building Approach. New knowledge is produced in each project-based activity characteristically enhanced by a multitude of firms and organizations. Hence, knowledge barriers in practice and education seem to stop a process of dissemination. Project-based firms lack the internal organizational mechanisms for the knowledge acquired in one project to be transferred and used by other projects. The paper builds upon the current literature on knowledge management and follows its “codification debate”. The communicability of knowledge is there argued to be based on a codified form and tacit knowledge is argued to be produced only in experience Specific questions are analyzed following a group of evolving projects in a local Swedish context. Learning between projects seems here to be an underestimated collective endeavour. Knowledge processes are both individual and collective and develop specific project knowledge. Projects may then be considered as arenas enacting learning processes within a population of projects. Still is face-to-face knowledge transfer of big importance in these environments. The investigation follows the introduction of a new generation of demonstration projects for sustainable building within the context of an existing population of projects shaping a specific arena. The attention is focused on the collective mechanisms used for developing knowledge that can be reused in other projects.