>Adoption of a network approach to sustainable building standard process

Posted: February 25, 2011 in Uncategorized


Adoption of a network approach to sustainable building standard process, not product: a response column to ‘A political-ecology of the built environment: LEED certification for green buildings’, Cidell, 2009, Local Environment, 14(7), pp. 621-633.


Spinks, Martine1 m.spinks@ucl.ac.uk


Local Environment; Jan2011, Vol. 16 Issue 1, p87-92, 6p

Document Type:


Subject Terms:

*SUSTAINABLE buildings — Design & construction
*POLITICAL ecology
*BUILT environment
*ACTOR-network theory
LEADERSHIP in Energy & Environmental Design Green Building Rating System

Author-Supplied Keywords:

actor-network theory
boundary objects
sustainable building


Cidell’s (2009) A political-ecology of the built environment: LEED certification for green buildings (Local Environment, 14 (7), 621-633) presented a political-ecology approach to analyse and champion LEED. In this response column, I propose that a network approach is a more appropriate conceptual framework. Using elements found in actor-network theory, I present a more complete conceptualisation of socio-material hybridity, enabling a deconstruction of the processes of sustainable building as opposed to a focus on the products of sustainable building certification. I propose that a risk associated with reifying social actor agency and specialist techno-ecological knowledge, as Cidell’s (2009) work implies, is the black boxing of sustainable buildings. I contend that researchers should approach sustainable building standards such as LEED as the mobilisers of network actions instead of the inputs and outputs of epistemic engagements. In relation, I also present the concepts of boundary object and translation as alternative concepts for analysis. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


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Author Affiliations:

1Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, London, U.K.





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