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In the recent years, Energy Poverty (EP) has become a big challenge in the European Union (EU), affecting 50 to 125 million of EU citizens. The EU is working to implement effective actions to tackle it. Home retrofitting is the most impacting solution, but it requires a large amount of money; on the other hand, energy-related behaviour change represents a first step for vulnerable consumers to reduce energy consumption and energy bills. With this aim, ASSIST 2gether project (H2020, Grant Agreement 754051) has created the “Home Energy Advisor” (HEA), trained with an innovative course, about energy, social system and communication skills. The goal of the HEAs is to implement pilot actions to mitigate EP by educating vulnerable consumers and increasing their consumption awareness, through behaviour change. In this paper, the planning and first results of HEAs training are described and analysed, together with the possible impacts on energy poor consumers.

Authors: Anna Realini, Simone Maggiore, Marina Varvesi, Valentina Castello, Corrado Milito

The built environment has a great responsibility for energy consumption and carbon emissions worldwide. Thus, energy conservation in building plays a vital role in sustainable economic growth. Researchers from many disciplines have devoted to the field of design for energy-efficient buildings. However, human factors, as the way people interact or use the designed environment, are also fundamental. In particular, colour-temperature perceptual associations might be used to influence people’s thermal experiences. In this study, we presented two national groups of participants with four rooms in Virtual Reality (VR) to test the effect of coloured ambient light on the perceived thermal comfort, context of use and ambient atmosphere. The results showed that room-lighting could affect the thermal comfort perceived and its advantage for energy conservation. Detailed analyses and future developments are also discussed.

Authors: Siyuan Huang, Giulia Wally Scurati, Roberta Etzi, Francesco Ferrise, Serena Graziosi, Lavinia Chiara Tagliabue, Alberto Gallace, Monica Bordegoni

Without disputing the importance of eco-design and sustainability in design education, there is little evidence of work specifically targeting sustainable medical solutions. Developing medical devices is complex, financially risky, requires large upfront investment and involves long lead times to market. In global design education today, the rigour and necessary focus on safety and efficacy of medical devices has meant that efforts to minimize environmental impact are often deprioritized or postponed, but increasingly emphasising on providing guidance to firms.
 
This exploratory study aims at understanding how design education affects DfE implementation in the process of designing medical products. 54 healthcare and medical design programs were identified online and analysed based on the information they provide on their websites. The surveys and the following analysis of the data helped highlight some of the problems in design education and open the platform for future work in environment conscious design education.
 
Authors: Pranay Arun Kumar, Stephen Jia Wang