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Conference Synopsis – Human Behaviour / Social Policies



5 – 6 Sep 2016 | Singapore
BCA Academy, 200 Braddell Road, Singapore 579700 (Show Map)

HOME » PROGRAMME » Synopsis | Track 4: Human Behaviour/ Social Policies


Energy consumption of buildings is a major change agent in climate change mitigation. It accounts for a relatively large part of total energy usage.  According to UNEP, buildings contribute about 40% of global energy and one third of total global greenhouse gas emissions. Among the developed countries, the US Department of Energy reports that commercial buildings alone in the US make up about 18% of total national energy consumption. In Europe, the European Commission estimates that buildings are responsible for 35% of its total greenhouse emissions. We can expect increasingly similar trends among developing countries. In both India and China, the building sector is responsible for about 30% of total national energy consumption.

Looking ahead, rapid urbanisation will continue to increase building energy demands in the future. Can the behaviour of building users and social policies play a critical role in reducing energy consumption and thus, mitigating climate change? Are human behaviour and social policies important factors in energy consumption? Japan, after the earthquake in 2011, has shown that human behaviour can change following an immediate shutdown of electric generating capacity, leading to reduced energy consumption per capita. Such cases illustrate the potential of social policies: that energy consumption and demand can be modified by changing human activities and policies. How can we maximise the potential of social policies in energy demand management and climate change mitigation? What are the critical enabling factors and best practices for successful implementation? What roles can the respective constituents of society play – architects, designers, planners, policymakers, businesses and the community? Can design – buildings and architecture – influence human behaviour towards more sustainable lifestyles? How will greener buildings change human behaviour and improve wellbeing?

This track will cover but is not limited to the following issues of sustainable buildings, social policies and human behaviour:

  • People’s attitudes and behaviour towards sustainable buildings;
  • Socio-environmental and cognitive functioning evidences of sustainable building design;
  • Effect of building design and infrastructure on human behaviour and behavioural changes towards sustainable lifestyle;
  • Partnerships and business models for sustainable lifestyles;
  • Case studies of social policies that help reduce energy consumption and/or promote sustainable lifestyles in cities.

United Nations Environment Programme-Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative (UNEP-SBCI) homepage.

Peter Lehner (2013), India’s Next Big Energy Source: Energy-Efficient Buildings, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

International Energy Agency (2012), China’s Building Energy Use: A Long-Term Perspective based on a Detailed Assessment