The introduction of approved document L: a study of enforced change

S. Emmitt, B. Heaton

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


The majority of designers exhibit conservative rather than innovative behaviour when specifying. Earlier research found that specifiers tend to seek out products that are new to them only when their usual solution is inappropriate. In this paper we report the observation of two specifiers working in an architect’s office and their response to the introduction of Approved Document Part L, which forced them to pursue new solutions. This ethnographic study helps to illustrate different approaches to the decision-making process by individuals working within the same office and within the same organizational culture. Analysis of the specifiers’ action also helps to highlight a number of issues concerning the management of design and knowledge transfer. In particular some of the pressures associated with the adoption of a more ecologically friendly approach to design are revealed in the work reported here. A number of issues are raised for practitioners and design managers as well as identifying areas for further research, some of which is currently being addressed in ongoing research work.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Proceedings 19th Annual ARCOM Conference, 2003
EditorsD. J. Greenwood
Publisher Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM)
ISBN (Print)0953416186
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Event19th Annual ARCOM Conference, 2003 - Brighton, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Sept 20035 Sept 2003


Conference19th Annual ARCOM Conference, 2003
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom


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