Preller, Bérénice Cynthia (2018). Sustainable Building Transitions in Luxembourg and Freiburg: Local Meanings, Circumstances and Rationales. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.

Preller2018SustainableBuildingTransitionsLuxembourgandFreiburg.pdf - Published Version
Bereitstellung unter der CC-Lizenz: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (4MB) | Preview


Sustainable building has become a subject of high policy emulation to address sustainability challenges. Publications and interventions from international organisations concord in outlining the high share of greenhouse gas emissions produced by the building sector, while at the same time pointing towards the important leverage for sustainability interventions on the built environment. The realisation of sustainable building crosses serval functional domains: regulatory, economic, cultural, social, natural etc. It requires also to consider buildings in a comprehensive manner from their inception, construction, up to their use and eventual retrofit or demolition but also in relationship with their wider (urban) settings. And last but not least, it requires close interactions with a wide range of stakeholders with different interests and disciplinary perspectives. As a result, sustainable building transformations are a widely diversified agenda. Hence the primary interest, as well as objective of this work, has been to try to better grasp the causes and mechanisms that explain such large differentiation of sustainable building. Drawing on critical sustainable urban literature, I posit sustainable building as diversified because it is a situated and socially mediated object. Conceptually, the work engages with two approaches. First the literature on sustainable socio-technical transitions, in particular the Multi-Level Perspective. Its grounding in co-evolutionary and institutional thinking helps to comprehend the socio-material complexity of sustainable building across a broad range of dimensions and connections. In complementing, and following the adopted socially constructed stance, the work further looks at the discursive constructs used to argue in favour of the transformation towards sustainable building, as the performativity of discourse helps to explain why that change occurs. Using a mix of qualitative research methods, the research inquires sustainable building transformations in two European urban areas, Luxembourg (LU) and Freiburg (D). I look in detail how sustainable building policies are played out and how their content varies in relation to the geographical context in which they are situated. Of particular interest to my research is to understand the interpretations that underlay sustainable building in each case study. This focus allows to uncover similarities in both Luxembourg and Freiburg where sustainable building is dominantly addressed via technicalities, energy efficiency and green growth, thus tying onto the mainstreamed socio-economic paradigm, despite locally differentiated circumstances.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Preller, Bérénice Cynthiaberenice.jung@googlemail.comUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-84689
Date: 2018
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences > Department of Geosciences > Geographisches Institut
Subjects: Geography and history
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Sustainable building; Transitions; Discourse; Luxembourg; FreiburgUNSPECIFIED
Date of oral exam: 11 January 2018
NameAcademic Title
Schulz, ChristianProf. Dr.
Braun, BorisProf. Dr.
Hesse, MarkusProf. Dr.
Dannenberg, PeterProf. Dr.
Affolderbach, JuliaDr.
Mössner, SamuelProf. Dr.
Funders: Fonds National de la Recherche Luxembourg, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
Projects: GreenRegio: Green building in regional strategies for sustainability: multi-actor governance and innovative building technologies in Europe, Australia and Canada
Refereed: Yes


Downloads per month over past year


Actions (login required)

View Item View Item