a b s t r a c tOccupant behavior is now widely recognized as a major contributing factor to uncertainty of building performance. While a surge of research on the topic has occurred over the past four decades, and particularly the past few years, there are many gaps in knowledge and limitations to current methodologies. This paper outlines the state-of-the-art research, current obstacles and future needs and directions for the following four-step iterative process: (1) occupant monitoring and data collection, (2) model development, (3) model evaluation, and (4) model implementation into building simulation tools. Major themes include the need for greater rigor in experimental methodologies; detailed, honest, and candid reporting of methods and results; and development of an efficient means to implement occupant behavior models and integrate them into building energy modeling programs.
Occupant behavior has significant impacts on building energy performance and occupant comfort. However, occupant behavior is not well understood and is often oversimplified in the building life cycle, due to its stochastic, diverse, complex, and interdisciplinary nature. The use of simplified methods or tools to quantify the impacts of occupant behavior in building performance simulations significantly contributes to performance gaps between simulated models and actual building energy consumption. Therefore, it is crucial to understand occupant behavior in a comprehensive way, integrating qualitative approaches and data-and model-driven quantitative approaches, and employing appropriate tools to guide the design and operation of low-energy residential and commercial buildings that integrate technological and human dimensions. This paper presents ten questions, highlighting some of the most important issues regarding concepts, applications, and methodologies in occupant behavior research. The proposed questions and answers aim to provide insights into occupant behavior for current and future researchers, designers, and policy makers, and most importantly, to inspire innovative research and applications to increase energy efficiency and reduce energy use in buildings.
More than 30% of the total primary energy in the world is consumed in buildings. It is crucial to reduce building energy consumption in order to preserve energy resources and mitigate global climate change. Building performance simulations have been widely used for the estimation and optimization of building performance, providing reference values for the assessment of building energy consumption and the effects of energy-saving technologies. Among the various factors influencing building energy consumption, occupant behavior has drawn increasing attention. Occupant behavior includes occupant presence, movement, and interaction with building energy devices and systems. However, there are gaps in occupant behavior modeling as different energy modelers have employed varied data and tools to simulate occupant behavior, therefore producing different and incomparable results. Aiming to address these gaps, the International Energy Agency (IEA) Energy in Buildings and Community (EBC) Programme Annex 66 has established a scientific methodological framework for occupant behavior research, including data collection, behavior model representation, modeling and evaluation approaches, and the integration of behavior modeling tools with building performance simulation programs. Annex 66 also includes case studies and application guidelines to assist in building design, operation, and policymaking, using interdisciplinary approaches to reduce energy use in buildings and improve occupant comfort and productivity. This paper highlights the key research issues, methods, and outcomes pertaining to Annex 66, and offers perspectives on future research needs to integrate occupant behavior with the building life cycle.
Reducing energy consumption in the buildings sector requires significant changes, but technology alone may fail to guarantee efficient energy performance. Human behavior plays a pivotal role in building design, operation, management and retrofit, and is a crucial positive factor for improving the indoor environment, while reducing energy use at low cost. Over the past 40 years, a substantial body of literature has explored the impacts of human behavior on building technologies and operation. Often, need-action-event cognitive theoretical frameworks were used to represent human-machine interactions. In Part I of this paper a review of more than 130 published behavioral studies and frameworks was conducted. A large variety of data-driven behavioral models have been developed based on field monitoring of the human-building-system interaction. Studies have emerged scattered geographically around the world that lack in standardization and consistency, thus leading to difficulties when comparing one with another. To address this problem, an ontology to represent energy-related occupant behavior in buildings is presented. Accordingly, the technical DNAs framework is developed based on four key components: i) the Drivers of behavior, ii) the Needs of the occupants, iii) the Actions carried out by the occupants, and iv) the building systems acted upon by the occupants. This DNAs framework is envisioned to support the international research community to standardize a systematic representation of energyrelated occupant behavior in buildings. Part II of this paper further develops the DNAs framework as an XML (eXtensible Markup Language) schema, obXML, for exchange of occupant information modeling and integration with building simulation tools.
Climate induced extreme weather events and weather variations will affect both energy demand and energy supply system resilience. The specific potential impact of extreme events on energy systems has been difficult to quantify due to the unpredictability of future weather events. Here we develop a stochastic-robust optimization method to consider both low impact variations and extreme events. Applications of the method to 30 cities in Sweden, by considering 13 climate change scenarios, reveal that uncertainties in renewable energy potential and demand can lead to a significant performance gap (up to 34% for grid integration) brought by future climate variations and a drop in power supply reliability (up to 16%) due to extreme weather events. Appropriate quantification of the climate change impacts will ensure robust operation of the energy systems and enable renewable energy penetration above 30% for a majority of the cities. 2According to the Fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, 1 climate change will most likely accelerate, causing increasingly frequent and strong extreme climate events that make humans, as well as built and natural systems, more vulnerable to those events. Failure to address climate change mitigation and adaptation could lead to disaster and serious short-and long-term issues, 2 including partial or total blackouts due to energy supply disruptions. 3 These consequences could be very costly to cities and urban areas. Currently, 3.5 billion people live in these areas, consuming two-thirds of global primary energy and producing 71% of the directly energy-related global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. By 2050, urban areas are expected to hold more than half of the world's population, which will multiply the costs and impacts. 4 Therefore, the urban sector plays an important role in both climate change adaptation and mitigation. Conserving energy and using renewable energy technologies in these areas will be essential to minimize the carbon footprint of the energy infrastructure. Distributed energy systems that support the integration of renewable energy technologies will support the energy transition in the urban context 5 and play a vital role in climate change mitigation and adaptation.Climate change affects the energy use of urban areas extensively, by influencing energy demand, generation, systems and infrastructure. 6,7 Renewable energy generation can be affected in various ways, too, depending on the renewable source (e.g., wind, hydropower or solar) 8,9 and geographical location. 10 Due to extreme weather events, impacts of climate change on peak electricity demand will reach well beyond simple changes in net annual demand and become more critical due to their influence on system design and power supply. 11,12 For example, Sweden's existing residential building stock may experience an approximate 30% decrease in 20-year average heating demand during 2081-2100 compared to 1991-2010, while during extreme conditions the hourly heating and cooling demand may reach betwe...
Understanding the relationship between occupant behaviors and building energy consumption is one of the most effective ways to bridge the gap between predicted and actual energy consumption in buildings. However effective methodologies to remove the impact of other variables on building energy consumption and isolate the leverage of the human factor precisely are still poorly investigated. Moreover, the effectiveness of statistical and data mining approaches in finding meaningful correlations in data is largely undiscussed in literature. This study develops a framework combining statistical analysis with two data-mining techniques, cluster analysis and association rules mining, to identify valid window operational patterns in measured data. Analyses are performed on a data set with measured indoor and outdoor physical parameters and human interaction with operable windows in 16 offices. Logistic regression was first used to identify factors influencing window opening and closing behavior. Clustering procedures were employed to obtain distinct behavioral patterns, including motivational, opening duration, interactivity and window position patterns. Finally the clustered patterns constituted a base for association rules segmenting the window opening behaviors into two archetypal office user profiles for which different natural ventilation strategies as well as robust building design recommendations that may be appropriate. Moreover, discerned working user profiles represent more accurate input to building energy modeling programs, to investigate the impacts of typical window opening behavior scenarios on energy use, thermal comfort and productivity in office buildings.
One of the most significant barriers to achieving deep building energy efficiency is a lack of knowledge about the factors determining energy use. In fact, there is often a significant discrepancy between designed and real energy use in buildings, which is poorly understood but are believed to have more to do with the role of human behavior than building design. Building energy use is mainly influenced by six factors: climate, building envelope, building services and energy systems, building operation and maintenance, occupants' activities and behavior, and indoor environmental quality. In the past, much research focused on the first three factors. However, the next three human-related factors can have an influence as significant as the first three. Annex 53 employed an interdisciplinary approach, integrating building science, architectural engineering, computer modeling and simulation, and social and behavioral science to develop and apply methods to analyze and evaluate the real energy use in buildings considering the six influencing factors. Outcomes from Annex 53 improved understanding and strengthen knowledge regarding the robust prediction of total energy use in buildings, enabling reliable quantitative assessment of energy-savings measures, policies, and techniques.
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