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.

Performance Huddle 2017 – Houston

Performance Huddle FlyerThe International Building Performance Simulation Association – Houston Chapter invites you to the first annual

Performance Huddle 2017 – Houston

A half day Symposium on Building Performance Modeling and Sustainable Design Practice.

When: October 20th 2017 – 12:00 pm to 4:30 pm

Where: Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design, University of Houston


12:00 pm – 1:00 pm: Lunch & Networking

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm: First Session

  • Validation Study of Coupled FEA and CFD Steady State Analysis for the Prediction of Nighttime Building Enclosure Surface Temperatures using Maya Thermal/Flow for Siemens NX by Justin Boone WJE and John Tiernan, Maya HTT
  • Calibration of Models for Building Energy and Airflow Simulations by Atila Novoselac PhD, University of Texas at Austin

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm: Coffee Break & Networking

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm: Second Session

  • Energy Modeling for 179D Tax Deduction by Kevin Sullivan, Brayn Consulting
    Christian Ozbun, Intertek-PSI
  • Daylighting Metrics and Workflows by Paul Ferrer, Associate, HKS LINE

5:00 pm: Post-Symposium Happy Hour (location TBD)

This event is free to the public and lunch will be provided.

Please register here. If registering for lunch, please do it before October 19th.

Parking is not provided. Metered parking is available on lot 16B across from the College or at the UH Welcome Center. Click here for additional driving directions.

We strongly encourage the attendants to use the METRORail. Take the purple line to the Elgin/Third Ward station, the Robertson Stadium/UH/TSU station or the UH South/University Oaks station. It’s a 10 minute walk from any of these stations to the College of Architecture and Design.

Note: a happy hour will follow the symposium, details TBD.

The IBPSA September Twofer

PowerPoint Presentation

The International Building Performance Simulation Association – Houston Chapter invites you to our dual September presentation on September 12th 2016 at 5:30 pm at Kirksey Architecture:

The first part will be an Introduction to Cradle CFD for Building & Architecture by Cradle, a software package specializing in Computer Fluid Dynamics. This will be presented by Ben Cook from Cradle Software Co.

From Cradle:

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is one of the most sophisticated ways to evaluate how the building design matches the goals of the designer and engineer. CFD helps engineers and architects to understand the otherwise unknown, macro and micro environments of a building’s design. Building simulation analysts often find CFD software challenging to use due to the complexity of the simulation and the over whelming inputs required for building and architecture simulations.  Cradle has catered to architectures by providing them with a practical CFD software for their applications. This presentation will provide an insight into Cradle’s deep rich history in the building and architecture industry.


The second part will be a report about this year’s ASHRAE-IBPSA SIMBuild Conference followed by Kapil’s and Alfonso’s presentation “Comparison Of Simulation-Based Metrics In LEED & WELL Rating Systems”, which they presented at the Conference in Salt Lake City.

From their presentation’s abstract:

GBCI has launched a host of Building Performance Standards. WELL Building Standard, which focuses on Occupant Health, is already under evaluation by many AEC professionals. WELL has many ‘common grounds’ with LEED, especially with those under Indoor Environmental Quality Credits. However, there are many other LEED Credits that get impacted by WELL metrics. Using simulation models from two LEED buildings in Houston, TX – an office building and an educational building – a comparison of simulation-based metrics that can affect WELL and LEED Scores would be presented.

There will be a 30 minute networking session prior to the presentations, which will start at 6:00 pm. This event is free of charge. Parking is provided.

PLEASE RSVP HERE or by email to

Climate Change: Past, Present, Future with Dr. Jud Partin

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The Houston Chapter of the International Building Performance Simulation Association in conjunction with Texas Gulf Coast chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council presents Jud Partin, Ph.D, a paleoclimatologist with the University of Texas atAustin, to present his findings regarding externally-forced and internally-driven changes that affect the earth’s climate.

Partin uses paleoclimate archives to help evaluate both current climate trends and climate models, which are used to project future changes. He focuses on producing long records of hydroclimate using speleothems, corals, and forams from the tropics as well as quantifying the uncertainty of climate reconstructions and then comparing the paleoclimate data to climate model output.


One of the inter-disciplinary events that IBPSA-USA, Houston & USGBC Texas Gulf Coast Chapter organized this month was Dr. Dru Crawley’s talk on Building Performance Simulation. ASHRAE Houston Chapter also jointly sponsored this meeting with Association of Energy Engineers .

Over the last 50 years, Building Simulation has evolved into a powerful tool. It allows easy comparison of the energy and environmental performance of many hundreds of design or retrofit options. Dr. Dru Crawley from Bentley Systems, touched upon the development of energy simulation tools since 1970s and briefed about various algorithms being currently used in Energy & Lighting/Daylighting Simulation software. He talked at length about where the BIM industry is headed towards integration of Modeled & Real data, and various technological advances that the building-industry is undergoing right now.

The meeting was held at Green Building Resource Center.


BEHIND THE F.A.C.E. – Façade Analysis by Comparisons and Evaluations in the urban context


Mili Kyropoulou from HKS Line presented at the October meeting. The objective of the her study was the investigation of the residential urban multi-storey building, with reference to the Greek “polykatoikias”, the most typical typology in the Greek urban environment. The talk focused on the examination of the features and the potential of the façade element of the multi-storey buildings, as this is the physical boundary between the interior and the exterior conditions and for this typology is almost the only exposed surface of each unit. The comparative indicators of the assessment in this study were the daylight availability (illuminance) and the thermal performance (heating and cooling loads), which lead to a continuous attempt of establishing a balance between the two. Image 1