My research focuses on the sociology of knowledge and expertise critical to delivering transformation in our energy system. In particular, I focus on the construction professionals and organisations responsible for delivering the buildings and infrastructure needed to tackle climate change.
I first joined The University of Edinburgh in 2016, in the department of Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, where I taught courses in Energy Policy & Sustainability, and Investigating Energy Consumption. I later moved into Sociology, working with Prof. Jan Webb on a social evaluation of the Energy Efficient Scotland programme; the Scottish Government's cornerstone strategy for reducing energy consumption and decarbonising heat in the built environment. The results of this fed directly into Scottish Government's policy-making process.
Prior to this, I completed my PhD at the UCL Energy Institute. This was an ethnographic investigation of how, through their work, heating engineers can shape the central heating technologies installed in homes and how they come to be used.
I am an Associate Editor on the international journal Buildings & Cities.
PhD, Energy and Human Dimensions, UCL
MRes, Energy Demand Studies, UCL
MChem, Chemistry with a Year in Industry, University of York
Topics interested in supervising
I am interested in supervising Master's dissertations and PhDs on the topics of energy and society; sociologies of work; building and construction professionals; energy in the built environment.
If you are interested in being supervised by Faye Wade, please see the links below (opening in new windows) for more information:
I am developing sociologies of construction that span three areas:
1) Transformative construction technologies. The construction industry is investing huge amounts in new technologies and construction processes, including off-site modular manufacture and digital productivity tools, but has little grasp on their implications for professional skills and practices. I have ongoing projects that seek to address this, particularly: Old for New? Mapping skills and communication networks for local traditional and off-site modular building energy retrofit. Funded by the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Studies (CREDS), this project will use Social Network Analysis to explore the types of organisation involved in delivering novel aproaches to building retrofit. This project is in collaboration with a specialist UK housebuilder.
2) Knowledge for sustainability. The existing construction workforce is expected to learn new skills and adapt approaches to accomodate low carbon technologies. However, the exact nature of this anticipated knowledge, and how construction professionals will efficiently and effectively acquire these skills is unclear. To address this, I am developing research into skills and expertise for low carbon construction. This is currently being explored through a project investigating the training routes and experiences of heat pump installers in Scotland. This is a collaboration with the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre and Scottish and Northern Irish Plumbing Employer's Federation.
3) Politics and governance. Re-distribution of power from central government to local actors is gaining traction as a more effective way to deliver sustainability goals. I am developing understandings of this through research with Prof. Jan Webb studying the interactions of UK devolution processes and local energy infrastructures. Here, we are exploring how distinct policy framings across devolved governments enable the involvement of local and regional actors in the development of innovative energy infrastructure.
Wade F, 2020. Routinised heating system installation: the immutability of home heating. Energy Efficiency, (online).
Wade F, Bush R & Webb J, 2020. Emerging linked ecologies for a national scale retrofitting programme: the role of local authorities and delivery partners. Energy Policy, 137 (online)
Oswald D, Wade F, Sherratt F & Smith S, 2019. Communicating health and safety on a multinational construction project: challenges and strategies. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 145(4): 04019017-1-11.
Wade F, Murtagh N, Hitchings R, 2017. Managing professional jurisdiction and domestic energy use. Building Research & Information, 46(1). pp.42-53.
Wade F, Shipworth M & Hitchings R, 2017. How installers select and explain domestic heating controls. Building Research & Information, 45(4), pp.371-383.
Wade F, Hitchings R & Shipworth M, 2016. Understanding the missing middlemen of domestic heating: installers as a community of professional practice in the United Kingdom. Energy Research & Social Science, 19, pp. 39-47.
Wade F, Shipworth M & Hitchings R, 2016. Influencing the central heating technologies installed in homes: the role of social capital in supply chain networks. Energy Policy, 95, pp.52-60.
Peer reviewed conference papers
Myers H, Wade F & Webb J, 2019. Mapping Emerging Subcontracting Networks for the Energy Efficiency Retrofit of Hard-to-Treat Buildings In: Gorse, C and Neilson, C J (Eds.)Proceedings of the 35th Annual ARCOM Conference, 2-4 September 2019, Leeds, UK, Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 852-861.
Conway, Z, Wade, F and Smith, S D, 2018. A Participant Observation Study of Gender Dynamics on Construction Sites In: Gorse, C and Neilson, C J (Eds) Proceeding of the 34th Annual ARCOM Conference, 3-5 September 2018, Belfast, UK, Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 291-300.
Industry and policy reports
Wade F, Webb J, 2020. LHEES Phase 2 Pilots: Evaluation Report. Report to Scottish Government.
Wade F, Webb J & Creamer E, 2020. Energy Efficient Scotland Phase 2 Pilots: Final Social Evaluation Report. Report to Scottish Government.
Wade F, Webb J, Creamer E, 2019. Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies: Phase 1 Pilots. Social Evaluation Report Report to Scottish Government.
Wade F, Webb J, McCrone D & Wakelin J, 2019. Evaluation of HES Homecare pilot. Report to Scottish Government evaluating Home Energy Scotland pilot energy advice scheme.
Wade F & Kamwendo T, 2018. Supporting the roll-out of Viewpoint and Fieldview across Galliford Try.
Wilson J & Wade F, 2014. Engaging private landlords in energy efficiency. Future of London and EDF Energy.
Agnolucci P, Ekins P, Simpson K & Wade F, 2012. Fuel poverty: evidence from an inner London borough. A report for the Chesshire Lehmann Fund.