Sustainable Consumption and Production

Green Buildings, Green Consumption: Post-Occupancy Evaluation of Residential Developments

Principal Investigator: David J. Hendrickson

Substantial interest in promoting healthier and low impact, environmentally “green” residential developments is growing to facilitate substantial changes in living situations of residents and reduce material consumption. Current research remains focused on technological efficiencies of high performance, “green” residential developments. While an important first step, there is a dearth of research analyzing post-occupancy consumption levels within residential developments to determine the relationship between household consumption, urban form, and residential design. This research aims to address this need by examining the impact residential dwellings have on household consumption. Specifically, this study uses a mixed methods approach using performance and actor-centered indicators to investigate household consumption in seven areas: housing, mobility, food, solid waste, social capital, ecological behaviours, and livability. An analysis of eight multi-unit, residential household settings in Metro Vancouver, BC is conducted on high performance residential development, co-housing development, and “typical” multi-residential development.

Research findings provide critical insights for assisting academics, policy makers, urban planners, architect, designers, and households to ascertain how residential dwellings affect household consumption levels. Research is funded by the Real Estate Foundation of BC.