Would you like to contribute to research in Green Homes? By: greening homes

October 9, 2015
Announcements, Community, Green Materials, Resource Efficiency

Do you own a home? Are you planning, currently engaged in, or have ever undertaken a home renovation with green and sustainable features? Do you have an hour to spare?

My name is Mahtab and I am a graduate student at the University of Toronto. I am researching effective strategies to get homeowners engaged in the process of sustainable building design and renovation, and am looking for research participants who can give one hour of their time to help move forward our understanding of green home renovation.

Recently there has been more research interest in green buildings. It is estimated that 20-40 percent of a country’s total energy use can be attributed to buildings – so an improvement in building energy consumption can make a big environmental difference!  [1]

One area I am particularly interested in is green home renovation, as homeowners have an interesting part to play. Green building renovations are undertaken at relatively low rates, despite being cost-effective from a life-cycle standpoint. Annual energy-efficient renovation rates are only between 0.6-1.0 percent [2]. That means that if no new buildings were built, it would take over 100 years to renovate all of the existing buildings to be energy-efficient! Clearly this needs to be improved.

Therefore, I am interested in understanding why homeowners decide to renovate in the first place, and what are some strategies for engaging homeowners in the green building design process.

I hope that my research will help lead to better engagement in the design process, more enthusiasm for green buildings, and more effective green buildings overall.

What I need are research participants like you – homeowners who are planning, are currently engaged in, or have ever undertaken a home renovation with green/sustainable features.

Participants will take part in a single interview to discuss details of their green home renovation project. The interview offers participants the chance to talk about their renovation experience and contribute to improvements in the process of green home

renovation. The interview will take approximately one hour and can take place in-person or over the phone.

If you meet these criteria, and would like to take part in an interview to help move this important area of research forward, please reach out to me.


Mahtab Sabet


(647) 746-2469


[1] G. Newsham, S. Mancini and B. Birt, ‘Do LEED-­certified buildings save energy? Yes, but…’, Energy and Buildings, vol. 41, no. 8, pp 897-­905, 2009.

[2] M. Jakob, ‘The drivers of and barriers to energy efficiency in renovation decisions of single-­family home-­owners’, CEPE, 2007.