Making sense of and managing energy targets in public construction-client organisations
The built environment is acknowledged as having a large potential to reduce society’s energy use and has a major responsibility to contribute to mitigating climate change. In Sweden, it has been suggested that public organisations should take a leading role, and serve as good examples in the development of energy-efficient building. Thus, there is a strong need and many challenges for these organisations to revise their strategies, practices and behaviours in order to meet national and international energy directives.
The aim of this licentiate thesis is to understand how public construction-client organisations develop management practices in order to meet politically set directives on energy-efficient building. The thesis addresses how a long-term perspective, represented by LCC, and an energy target were dealt with by actors within two Swedish public construction-client organisations, respectively. The empirical data, gathered in two explorative case studies using in-depth interviews, observations and collection of relevant documentation, have been analysed through the theoretical lens of sensemaking and a framework of discursive activities.
This thesis shows that LCC can serve as a pedagogical and rhetorical tool for understanding and discussing the life-cycle perspective of buildings. LCC can, by enabling the conceptualization of the long-term perspective sought in building management practice, be used in negotiation and argumentation among project managers and diverse decision makers. Furthermore, energy-efficiency expertise and experience can provide actors with legitimacy to engage in energy-efficiency work. However, to implement an energy target in building-management practices, involved actors also benefit from knowing how and when to talk to specific stakeholders, how to create and share an appropriate message and how to build and use networks and coalitions. This thesis has shown that an actor who can manoeuver and make use of discursive competences has an advantageous position when it comes to influencing organisational sensemaking.
Managing Energy-Efficiency in Practice