The Trondheim living lab is a newly built detached single family home that is planned to reach a zero emission balance over the course of its lifetime. This is achieved by a broad variety of technical strategies such as passive and active energy design and efficient installations. The degree of automation of the building's environmental services (such as heating, cooling, ventilation, and light) has been left open to be able to test different control scenarios: manual, automatic and several modes combining both approaches.
In the first wave of qualitative experiments conducted in the laboratory between September 2015 and March 2016 six different groups are invited to live in the house for 25 days each. During this time, the script - i.e. the programs controlling the building according to ideal indoor environmental and energetic conditions - is kept as stable as possible. At the same time a user override is provided where applicable. Based on direct observation (mainly through sensors registering temperature, humidity, CO2 levels, light levels, presence, energy use, airing), and interviews before, during and after the stay, compliance and deviation from the script is registered and analysed along the dimensions of skill, meanings, and technology.
The goal of this analysis is twofold: First, we aim to provide a detailed account of which expected or unexpected occupant actions matter in which way for the resulting energy consumption of a high performance zero emission building. The second goal is conceptual: We revisit concepts like scripts and anti-programs (e.g. Akrich 1992; Latour 1992), domestication (e.g. Silverstone & Hirsch 1992; Sørensen 2006), and social practice (e.g. Schatzki et al. 2001; Reckwitz 2002) and explore their ability to shed light on occupants' interactions with automated domestic environments.