In CHI 2015 Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1993-2002. DOI: 10.1145/2702123.2702528
The building sector accounts for 41% of primary energy consumption in the US, contributing an increasing portion of the country's carbon dioxide emissions. With recent sensor improvements and falling costs, auditors are increasingly using thermography -- infrared (IR) cameras -- to detect thermal defects and analyze building efficiency. Research in automated thermography has grown commensurately, aimed at reducing manual labor and improving thermal models. Though promising, we could find no prior work exploring the professional auditor's perspectives of thermography or reactions to emerging automation. To address this gap, we present results from two studies: a semi-structured interview with 10 professional energy auditors, which includes design probes of five automated thermography scenarios, and an observational case study of a residential audit. We report on common perspectives, concerns, and benefits related to thermography and summarize reactions to our automated scenarios. Our findings have implications for thermography tool designers as well as researchers working on automated solutions in robotics, computer science, and engineering.