A growing body of research indicates that in many cases energy efficient buildings are not achieving the expected level of energy savings. While some argue that this is due to rebound effects, with lower energy costs being channeled into higher comfort levels or licensing wasteful behaviour in other areas, this paper posits that poor design choices often stem from a failure to incorporate the human dimension in the design of the retrofit. This results in the less than optimal operation of energy saving technologies or designs on the part of occupants and users. The H2020 project NewTREND aims to counteract this by collaborating with occupants and users as partners in the design process. NewTREND is developing a participatory integrated design methodology for the energy retrofit of buildings and neighbourhoods. The developed methodology and associated tools will be tested and validated in three refurbishment projects in Hungary, Finland and Spain. This paper outlines research being undertaken at UCC as part of the project into novel approaches to occupant involvement. Initial findings will be presented based on work with occupants of a building refurbishment project located in Ireland.