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”How can buildings support us in our daily activities?”

An image of James McHale and Elena Malakhatka.
Image: Memoori Research
Published Jun 10, 2021

KTH Live-in Lab’s Elena Malakhatka with the latest on her project Service layer design for pro-environmental behaviour in the built environment.

PhD candidate and project manager Elena Malakhatka is currently working with the KTH Live-in-Lab (LIL) on a new approach for human-centered service design for the built environment with a focus on sustainability.

This research project – Service layer design for pro-environmental behaviour in the built environment   – contributes to increasing knowledge on how an integrated approach that iteratively delivers the right data insights will not only improve the quality of life and convenience of citizens in indoor spaces but also contribute to more sustainable cities through more efficient utilisation of scarce resources such as energy and water.

Elena Malakhatka elaborates further: “The project focuses on the service design process, starting from the users’ needs and experience, providing a systematic procedure that links data analysis to human-centred service design. It is only after we understand end users’ behavioural patterns and preference that we can create potential strategies for behavioural changes and habits that are designed to be more environmentally friendly. In addition, our study is researching the role of different stakeholders in the process of changing behaviours in ways that benefit the environment. We also propose few methods for co-creation of the new services with multiple stakeholders.”

While carrying out the project as part of her PhD program, Malakhatka has written and contributed to articles and papers about services and users. The latest, co-authored by herself, Liridona Sopjani and Per Lundqvist, is titled “Co-Creating Service Concepts for the Built Environment Based on the End-User’s Daily Activities Analysis: KTH Live-in-Lab Explorative Case Study”. The paper was published in early 2021 in the MDPI, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, open-access journal Sustainability, as part of a special issue on Innovation Management in Living Labs.

To read the full paper, visit the following link: Co-Creating Service Concepts for the Built Environment Based on the End-User’s Daily Activities Analysis: KTH Live-in-Lab Explorative Case Study

”This paper is a product of collaborative work between several stakeholders of the KTH Live-In Lab and the students living there [in the co-living]. The project was realised with the support of the Swedish Energy Agency program ‘Design for energy-efficient everyday life’”, says Elena Malakhatka.

The main research hypothesis

Service design processes, tailored through analysis of users' daily behaviours in the built environment context, will give us a better understanding of users’ behaviour patterns at home, in general, and point to potential areas to design for behaviours that benefit the environment in particular.

The main research questions

• How to implement a human-centric and data-driven approach to the service design process?

• How can services be designed to conserve resources?

Case studies

• Sustainable kitchen project: food-related behaviour analysis

• Personalised thermal comfort modelling with the use of wearable 'Oura ring' device

• Space as a service: potential to re-purpose underused spaces


• New services related to sustainable food habit design can lead to 7-10% electricity reduction and 5-7% water reduction

• Services related to well-being can lead to 5-7% electricity savings and increase overall user experience (UC) 10-15%

Memoori talks to KTH PhD candidate Elena Malakhatka

James McHale, managing director at Memoori Research, and Elena Malakhatka cover a vast list of interesting subjects in this half-hour talk on the topic of “Driving Smart Building Innovation Through Academia!”.

Watch the video below to find out about the benefits of creating network constellations at living labs, advice to businesses for how to collaborate with academia, and how Elena Malakhatka thinks the KTH Live-in Lab fosters a garage spirit and innovation.

 More on this topic

Reconstruction of Testbed KTH 3.0 in full swing

Co-living: “The best of two worlds”  (Interview with the five students who stayed in the co-living Testbed KTH 2.0, 2020/2021)

Co-Kitchen: Interview with Susanne Malmgren at Akademiska Hus

Co-Kitchen: Interview with Sara Ilstedt and Martin Sjöman at KTH

Belongs to: KTH Live-In Lab
Last changed: Jun 10, 2021