EETD Distinguished Lecture: How is Building Energy Use Related to Occupant Behaviors and Building Usage Modes?

September 21, 2011 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Building 50 Auditorium
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Building energy data around the world have been provided based on statistical data combined with some case studies for both office and residential buildings. Very large differences in energy use have been found for buildings with same functions between different countries. Studies have been made to understand the reasons for these differences. It was shown that the differences are not due to the difference in technologies used in these buildings, but rather are caused by different usage modes and behaviors of occupants. A simulation model has been developed to model the building energy performance under different usages.

The results show how the large difference in energy use can be caused by occupant behaviors. According to the total energy that the earth can provide us to operate buildings for whole human settlement, we need both energy savings technologies and energy savings usage modes. However, further studies have discovered that most energy savings technologies are heavily reliant on actual occupant behaviors and building usage modes. Some technologies may show great savings with high-energy usage modes but cannot make any change when operated at low-energy usage modes. Some measures work very well when a building operates at low-energy mode but may raise energy use when operated at high-energy mode. What should be the reference usage mode when we evaluate building energy performance at the design stage or when we evaluate energy savings technologies? It is very important to correctly set up the reference usage mode according to real possible usage modes.

Please visit the EETD Distinguished Lecture website for further information.

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