Research Topic

Modeling Occupant Behavior and Quantifying its Impact on Building Energy Use

About this Research Topic

Occupant behavior is one of the main sources of uncertainty when modeling energy usage of buildings. It is influenced by both external e.g. culture, the economy, and climate, as well as internal factors e.g. individual preference, physiology, and psychology, which explains its complexity and the need for an interdisciplinary approach to unravel its details. The presence, movement, and actions of occupants at various levels of detail at the urban scale can significantly impact the energy usage and comfortability of buildings. Simplified representations of people as passive and static entities can reduce the reliability of performance assessments and management of buildings. Adequate modeling is therefore required to address the presence of inhabitants in buildings, as well as their multidimensional and dynamic interactions with control devices and systems for the design, planning, and development of sustainable cities.

Although several methods have been used to model the presence and actions of occupants in buildings for different purposes in the last four decades, there are still limited general procedures and guidelines to evaluate proposed user-related behavior models. Given this context, this Research Topic aims to nourish a deeper discourse and disseminate information in this area with the aim of improving energy building performance assessments with effective representation of occupant behavior. It hopes to collect valid and informative examples of the integration of behavior models in tools and processes, and improve their capability of quantifying human impact on energy usage in buildings. Research across sensing and social and behavioral data can help model and quantify the impact of occupant behavior on building energy usage also at a neighborhood, regional, or an urban scale.

Authors are invited to focus on the following topics:
• Modeling occupant presence (occupancy detection, estimation, and prediction)
• Modeling occupant interactions with building interfaces (window, blinds, lighting operation, and thermostat adjustment)
• Modeling occupant interactions with building systems (HVAC, heating/cooling, DHW, and appliances)
• Activity profiling and occupancy patterns
• Simulated and actual energy consumption
• Indoor environmental parameters in the context of energy-related occupant actions and preferences
• Occupant-centric urban data processing and data driven modeling
• Applications of occupant behavior models in design, evaluation, and operation optimization
• Policy and social implications of occupant behavior modeling in buildings


Keywords: Occupant Behavior, Building Energy Use, Energy Building Performance, Modeling Occupant Presence, Modeling Occupant Interaction, Building Energy Consumption


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Occupant behavior is one of the main sources of uncertainty when modeling energy usage of buildings. It is influenced by both external e.g. culture, the economy, and climate, as well as internal factors e.g. individual preference, physiology, and psychology, which explains its complexity and the need for an interdisciplinary approach to unravel its details. The presence, movement, and actions of occupants at various levels of detail at the urban scale can significantly impact the energy usage and comfortability of buildings. Simplified representations of people as passive and static entities can reduce the reliability of performance assessments and management of buildings. Adequate modeling is therefore required to address the presence of inhabitants in buildings, as well as their multidimensional and dynamic interactions with control devices and systems for the design, planning, and development of sustainable cities.

Although several methods have been used to model the presence and actions of occupants in buildings for different purposes in the last four decades, there are still limited general procedures and guidelines to evaluate proposed user-related behavior models. Given this context, this Research Topic aims to nourish a deeper discourse and disseminate information in this area with the aim of improving energy building performance assessments with effective representation of occupant behavior. It hopes to collect valid and informative examples of the integration of behavior models in tools and processes, and improve their capability of quantifying human impact on energy usage in buildings. Research across sensing and social and behavioral data can help model and quantify the impact of occupant behavior on building energy usage also at a neighborhood, regional, or an urban scale.

Authors are invited to focus on the following topics:
• Modeling occupant presence (occupancy detection, estimation, and prediction)
• Modeling occupant interactions with building interfaces (window, blinds, lighting operation, and thermostat adjustment)
• Modeling occupant interactions with building systems (HVAC, heating/cooling, DHW, and appliances)
• Activity profiling and occupancy patterns
• Simulated and actual energy consumption
• Indoor environmental parameters in the context of energy-related occupant actions and preferences
• Occupant-centric urban data processing and data driven modeling
• Applications of occupant behavior models in design, evaluation, and operation optimization
• Policy and social implications of occupant behavior modeling in buildings


Keywords: Occupant Behavior, Building Energy Use, Energy Building Performance, Modeling Occupant Presence, Modeling Occupant Interaction, Building Energy Consumption


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

27 December 2020 Abstract
26 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

27 December 2020 Abstract
26 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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