Authors

Barbara Parks

Comments

Advisors: Martha Jenkins, Joyce Rasdall, Sallye Clark

Abstract

Energy-efficient designs in clothing, interior architecture and furnishings were evaluated (a) to assess consumers’ attitudes toward the designs, (b) to compare acceptability levels of participants who were knowledgeable in the home energy field with those who were less knowledgeable and (c) to determine if consumers had a preference for using housing, clothing or furnishings in meeting their thermal comfort needs. Four designs generated by the University of Tennessee-Energy Design competition were evaluated: a leisure outfit, a lounging dress, a water-storage collector (room divider and coffee tables) and a solar waterbed. Rogers and Shoemaker’s perceived attributes of innovations model (relative advantage, compatibility and complexity) was utilized as a theoretical basis. The semantic differential scale and the gaming technique were selected as measurement / scaling devices. The underlying constructs of the design evaluations were determined by factor analysis and did correspond to Rogers and Shoemaker’s attributes of compatibility and complexity. The relative advantage attribute was strongly economic for all of the designs except the leisure outfit. All of the designs were acceptable to survey participants on the basis of mean ratings. No significant differences in acceptability levels of participants who were knowledgeable in the home energy field and those who were less knowledgeable were found using the t-test. Consumers did have a preference for using housing in meeting their thermal comfort needs; clothing was the most frequent second selection; furnishings were selected by a similar number of respondents as second and third choices.

Disciplines

Architecture | Business | Economics | Education | Fashion Business | Home Economics | Interior Architecture | Sales and Merchandising | Social and Behavioral Sciences

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