AUTHOR: Lionel Epiney
CONTEXT: Lecture in the Conference "Thermal Standards in Architecture", co-organized by the Swiss National Science Foundation Professorship and Zürich University of Applied Sciences, Mendrisio Oct. 30./31, 2017
KEYWORDS: thermal standards, norm transfer, globalization, sustainable architecture, certification
The actors involved in the definition and implementation of thermal regulations, such as scientists, policy-makers, experts and bureaucrats, all have many different agendas in how to deploy energy-efficient strategies. As means to modernise the building stock, the regulations produced (and/or standards) are then artefacts and the result of compromises, be it economic, technical or social. Focusing on passive climate control, I will present the case of Santiago de Chile, a city facing many environemental problems such as low air quality and poor indoor thermal comfort.
Recently, Chile’s governement, alongside the private sector, is heading towards energy transitions, fostering improvements of building
performance. Being cross-cultural objects, incorporated in a global market, thermal performance’s best practices are transnational and not necessarily locally informed. This can sometimes lead to an omission of the existing cultural or organisational issues when importing a standard in a local context. Across various scales of governance, I try to follow this construction of thermal standards (voluntary or
integrated in the law). Finally, their significance on the urban fabric of Santiago is examined.