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Almeida, L, Tam, V W, Le, K N and She, Y (2020) Effects of occupant behaviour on energy performance in buildings: a green and non-green building comparison. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 27(08), 1939–62.
- Type: Journal Article
- Keywords: Energy use; Building simulation; Building modeling; Dynamic simulation; Occupant behaviour; Green building; University building;
- ISBN/ISSN: 0969-9988
- URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-11-2019-0653
Occupants are one of the most impacting factors in the overall energy performance of buildings, according to literature. Occupants’ behaviours and actions may impact the overall use of energy in more than 50%. In order to quantify the impact that occupant behaviour has in the use of energy, this study simulated interactions between occupants and the systems present in two actual buildings. The main aim was to compare the deviations due to occupant behaviour with the actual conditions and energy use of the two buildings.
Design/methodology/approachThe buildings used as a case study in this research were green buildings, rated according to the Australian Green Star certification system as a 6-star and a non-rated building. The two buildings are university buildings with similar characteristics, from Western Sydney University, in Sydney, Australia. A comparison was performed by means of building simulations among the use of energy in both buildings, aiming to understand if the green rating had any impact on the energy related to occupant behaviour. Therefore, to represent the actual buildings' conditions, the actual data related with climate, geometry, systems, internal loads, etc. were used as input variables in the simulation models of the green and the non-rated buildings. Both models were calibrated and validated, having as target the actual monitored use of electricity. FindingsOccupants were categorized according to their levels of energy use as follows: saving, real and intensive energy users. Building simulations were performed to each building, with varying parameters related with lighting, plug loads, windows/doors opening, shading and air conditioning set points. Results show that occupant behaviour may impact the buildings' energy performance in a range of 72% between the two extremes. There is no significant relationship between the green rating and the way occupants behave in terms of the energy use. Originality/valueThis study intends to show the impact of different categories of occupant behaviour in the overall energy performance of two university buildings, a non-rated and a green-rated building, having as reference an actual representation of the buildings. Additionally, the study aims to understand the main differences between a green-rated and a non-rated building when accounting with the previous categories.