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Table 9 Multicriteria framework: past and prospects

From: Assessing the societal impacts of green demonstration homes: a Canadian case study

Category of multicriteria framework What the REEP data tell us (or attempted to tell us) and insights from this What data could or should be collected? General recommendations
Technology performance The data provide a picture of whole house performance summarised into electrical, water and gas usage as well as the resultant carbon footprint, compared with house performance before the retrofit. Collect more specific data about the functioning of each individual technological solution to verify that each is performing the way it is expected to. Collect data about the technologies being used in the house that highlight ‘big picture’ information such as whole house energy consumption and total cost savings, as it will be easier for visitors to remember.
This tells us that, combined, the technologies being used are very effective in making an older house much more efficient and in reducing its carbon footprint. Collect data about individual technological elements’ contributions to the house when the goal is to encourage visitors to add them to their own homes.
Educational programme performance The data tell us whether certain information or promotional materials are being handed out to visitors of the REEP House and whether the information was ‘generally’ useful. Collect data about the knowledge that visitors retained from their visit to the house, for example, questions concerning specific technologies or best ways to conserve energy. Intentionally decide what information is the most important for visitors to retain in order for the GDH to meet its goals, then ask questions to see if that information is remaining in people’s minds. This can provide insight into what topics people are less interested in or find confusing. Adjust educational programmes accordingly.
Visitor numbers and other demographic information This category had the most data and covers the following areas: visitor’s demographic information; interest in, and motivation for, green living; plans for renovations; and history with energy evaluations. It provides insight into what groups of people are most drawn to the REEP House. Ask a complete set of demographic and background questions based on what is useful for the organisation in charge of the GDH to know about their visitors. Be consistent with the information collected about GDH visitors in order to illuminate visitor trends that may not otherwise be apparent.
Ask the same demographic questions to all visitors consistently; if questions need to be altered, have a process or predetermined time for changes to be made to ensure that data sets remain somewhat comparable and robust over longer periods of time.
Attitude and value change The data collected tell us whether visitors shared their experience at the REEP House with others, which could be indicative of a positive attitude towards the experience. Ask visitors if they changed their minds about, gained appreciation for, saw the importance in or were convinced to do something after visiting the house. Find out changes in visitors’ attitudes and values caused by visiting the GDH using pre-visit and post-visit tests. Such tests could be administered online when people sign up for an event at the house or offered by means of a computer or tablet at the house.
Behaviour change The data collected under this category tell us what actions visitors took or had planned to take after their visit to the REEP House. Ask visitors ‘why’ they took certain actions ‘because of’ their visit or ‘did their visit cause [them] to take this action’, thereby demonstrating that the programmes running at the GDH have value in encouraging people to be more sustainable in their homes. Ask questions that find out the ‘why’ behind visitors’ actions. This can offer validation for the existence of the GDH and its programmes if visitors are taking action because of their visit.
Some options for questions include:
(after asking if the visitor performed a specific action)
If NO, why did you not take this action? (multiple choice)
Were you planning on doing this before visiting the GDH? (yes/no/not sure)
Did your visit to the GDH cause you to choose to take this action? (yes/no/not sure)
Did your visit provide you with the information you needed about this topic? (yes/no/not sure)