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The dynamics of innovation drivers: client requirements and sustainable energy innovation uptake

Satu Reijonen, Rebecca Pinheiro Croisel


Despite growing interest, sustainable energy innovations encounter difficulties in attaining market success. This paper investigates the role of requirements set up by the clients in generating more conducive conditions for sustainable energy innovations in building projects. With the help of two case studies we identify three dynamics provoked by specific client objectives with a focus on sustainability: the dynamics of exploration beyond the habitual ways, the dynamics of future inclusion and the dynamics of verification. By provoking these dynamics, client requirements change the prevailing level of ambition of the project and the ways in which the benefits and costs are calculated. They thereby create a strong entanglement of the sustainable energy innovation and the design project. Furthermore, the dynamics tend to favour the uptake of existing innovations rather than generating completely novel solutions. The article concludes with a discussion on the possibilities of policy intervention for innovation supportive dynamics in construction projects.


innovation; project management, sustainable energy; processuality; client; geothermal heating; bio-climatic design


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