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Title: Assessing the number of users who are excluded by domestic heating controls
Authors: Combe, N
Harrison, DJ
Dong, H
Craig, S
Gill, Z
Keywords: Controls;Energy consumption;Heating;Design exclusion;Inclusive design;User behaviour
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: International Journal of Sustainable Engineering, 4(1): 84 - 92, Jan 2011
Abstract: Space heating accounts for almost 60% of the energy delivered to housing which in turn accounts for nearly 27% of the total UK's carbon emissions. This study was conducted to investigate the influence of heating control design on the degree of ‘user exclusion’. This was calculated using the Design Exclusion Calculator, developed by the Engineering Design Centre at the University of Cambridge. To elucidate the capability requirements of the system, a detailed hierarchical task analysis was produced, due to the complexity of the overall task. The Exclusion Calculation found that the current design placed excessive demands upon the capabilities of at least 9.5% of the UK population over 16 years old, particularly in terms of ‘vision’, ‘thinking’ and ‘dexterity’ requirements. This increased to 20.7% for users over 60 years old. The method does not account for the level of numeracy and literacy and so the true exclusion may be higher. Usability testing was conducted to help validate the results which indicated that 66% of users at a low-carbon housing development could not programme their controls as desired. Therefore, more detailed analysis of the cognitive demands placed upon the users is required to understand where problems within the programming process occur. Further research focusing on this cognitive interaction will work towards a solution that may allow users to behave easily in a more sustainable manner.
Description: This is the pre-print version of the Article. This Article is also referred to as: "Assessing the 'Design Exclusion' of Heating Controls at a Low-Cost, Low-Carbon Housing Development". - Copyright @ 2011 Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1939-7038
Appears in Collections:Design
Dept of Design Research Papers

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