On Wednesday 3rd February the reading group discussed James and Noel’s draft paper entitled “Standards, design and energy demand: the case of commercial offices”. The group identified a number of interesting themes in the paper, including: typologies of standards; the market standards applying to office buildings; and policy lessons relating to energy demand. There was an extended discussion of which of these foci might be the basis for honing the paper’s original contribution. The group felt that the central concept of ‘market standards’ itself was a strong enough contribution, and that the paper might therefore focus on defining them and their structuring effects, using office buildings as a singular case but drawing out the implications for other areas where market standards have a role. The group felt that in various ways the paper revealed that whereas all standards to some degree translate and abstract knowledge, market standards have the particular effect of diminishing rather than amplifying knowledge of occupier practices. This might be the ‘punchline’ of the paper. The challenge was, then, laid down to further focus the paper to develop such a contribution. No-one could agree on an appropriate target journal for the paper, but Research Policy, Environment and Planning A or B, and Urban Studies were all touted as possibilities, these allowing DEMAND’s message to be heard beyond a solely energy and/or buildings focused audience.
Here are some pictures of Reading Group 3 February.