The Role of Occupant Behavior in Building Design and Operation


Dr. Bing Dong, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, UT San Antonio

Building energy consumption is a systematic procedure comprehensively influenced by not only engineering technologies, but also cultural concept, occupant behavior and social equity, etc.. People spend more than 90% of time in buildings and as a result occupancy behavior becomes a leading factor that affects building energy consumption but it is quite often oversimplified. Occupancy behavior refers to occupancy presence and numbers in spaces or a building, and human building interactions, such as opening/closing windows, blinds, and turning on/off lighting, as well as occupant preferences, such as thermal comfort. At the same time, the occupants’ expectation of comfort or satisfaction in the built environment drives the occupant to perform various controls, such as adjusting the thermostat in spaces, opening windows for ventilation, turning on lights, pulling down the window blinds, and consuming domestic hot water. Hence, having a better understanding, description, and model of occupant behavior in buildings can improve the accuracy of building simulations and guide the design and operation of buildings. This talk aims to highlight current state-of-art research on occupant behavior driven building design and operation.

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