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Über dieses Buch

This book is the first to comprehensively cover research methods for building occupant behavior. As this is of growing importance for building design and for building performance optimization, the book aims to provide a sound scientific basis for experimental studies in this field. It introduces the reader to fundamental questions about the topic and unfolds the different fields related to occupant actions and comfort. This is followed by more general questions about developing an appropriate research method and experimental design. A comprehensive overview of sensors for monitoring environmental and also behavioral and action-related quantities helps to set up an experiment. In this context, different experimental environments and data collection methods (in-situ, laboratories, surveys) are introduced and discussed in terms of their suitability for the respective research question. Furthermore, data management and reporting is addressed. The book concludes with fundamental challenges in conducting occupant studies, with chapters on ground truth, ethics and privacy.



Chapter 1. Introduction

Occupant behavior has a major influence on building energy consumption. With tightening requirements towards building energy performance and sustainability, awareness of the importance of understanding building occupants’ behavioral and presence patterns has risen, yet the latter are often treated in a highly simplistic manner. There is a lack of a consistent research framework with regard to data collection on occupant behavior from experiments. Therefore, this book which emerged from work in the IEA Energy in Buildings and Communities Annex 66 Definition and Simulation of Occupant Behavior in Buildings, provides guidance to organize research from conception and design to study phase, and then validation, data management, and ethics.
Andreas Wagner, William O’Brien, Bing Dong

Chapter 2. Occupancy and Occupants’ Actions

Occupants’ presence and actions within the built environment are crucial aspects related to understanding variations in energy use. Within this chapter, first, a nomenclature for the field of research dealing with occupants in buildings is defined. This nomenclature distinguishes between occupants’ presence and behavior, states and actions, adaptive triggers, non-adaptive triggers, and contextual factors. Second, an extensive list of occupant behaviors is provided and categorizations of occupants’ actions are introduced. The list includes most of the possible phenomena that researchers may wish to study, measure, and ultimately model. The categories are physiological, individual, environmental, and spatial adjustments. Third, a list of adaptive and non-adaptive triggers together with contextual factors that could influence occupant behavior is presented. Individual elements are further grouped into physical environmental, physiological, psychological, and social aspects. Finally, a comprehensive table of studies related to occupant behavior and the corresponding significant and non-significant predictors, based on an extensive literature review, is shown. This table highlights areas of research where numerous studies have been conducted, as well as areas where hardly any research has been published. The conclusion highlights the importance of publishing future occupant monitoring campaigns with sufficient detail to inform future researchers and save redundant effort. Such detail is especially necessary in relation to the methodology, including, for example, a clear description of the type of variables monitored, and in relation to the results, where both the influencing factors that were found to be significant and insignificant should be documented.
Marcel Schweiker, Salvatore Carlucci, Rune Korsholm Andersen, Bing Dong, William O’Brien

Chapter 3. Designing Research

The aim of this chapter is to set out a process that researchers can follow to design a robust quantitative research study of occupant behavior in buildings. Central to this approach is an emphasis on intellectual clarity around what is being measured and why. To help achieve this clarity, researchers are encouraged to literally draw these relationships out in the form of a concept map capturing the theoretical model of the cause and effect between occupant motivations and energy use. Having captured diagrammatically how the system is thought to work, the next step is to formulate research questions or hypotheses capturing the relationship between variables in the theoretical model, and to start to augment the diagram with the measurands (things that can actually be measured) that are good proxies for each concept. Once these are identified, the diagram can be further augmented with one or more methods of measuring each measurand. The chapter argues that it is necessary to carefully define concepts and their presumed relationships, and to clearly state research questions and identify what the researcher intends to measure before starting data collection. The chapter also explains the ideas of reliability, validity, and uncertainty, and why knowledge about them is essential for any researcher.
David Shipworth, Gesche M. Huebner

Chapter 4. Sensing and Data Acquisition

Occupant sensing and data acquisition are essential elements for occupant behavior research. A wide range of different types of sensors has been implemented to collect rich information on occupants and their interactions with the built environment, such as presence, actions, power consumption, etc. This information establishes a foundation to study the physiological, psychological, and social aspects of occupant behavior. This chapter summarizes existing occupancy and occupant behavior sensing and data acquisition technologies in terms of field applications, and develops nine performance metrics for their evaluation. The reviewed technologies focus on both occupants’ presence and interactions with the built environment, and are grouped into six major categories: image-based, threshold and mechanical, motion sensing, radio-based, human-in-the-loop, and consumption sensing. This chapter provides an overview and discussion of different current state-of-the-art and future sensing technologies for researchers.
Bing Dong, Mikkel Baun Kjærgaard, Marilena De Simone, H. Burak Gunay, William O’Brien, Dafni Mora, Jakub Dziedzic, Jie Zhao

Chapter 5. Introduction to Occupant Research Approaches

There are numerous methods of collecting occupant-related data for the purpose of researching building occupants, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. The objective of this chapter is to guide the decision-making process for researchers who are about to embark on a new occupant data collection campaign. This chapter introduces Chaps. 68 by overviewing four methods for occupant research: in situ, laboratory, survey, and virtual reality. For each method, the advantages and disadvantages are laid out based on findings in the literature and the authors’ experiences. Next, a comprehensive list of occupant-related phenomena of interest is provided, along with a qualitative discussion of the merits of each data collection method for studying them. Finally, mixed methods research approaches—whereby multiple, complementary approaches are adopted in a single study—are briefly discussed. Following this chapter, the reader is presented with three chapters that provide recommended best practice for each of in situ (Chap. 6), laboratory (Chap. 7), and survey (Chap. 8) methods to researching occupants in occupants.
William O’Brien, Andreas Wagner, Julia K. Day

Chapter 6. In Situ Approaches to Studying Occupants

This chapter provides an overview of in situ methods to study occupant behavior and presence. The aim of the chapter is to provide new and established researchers with a systematic approach to in situ occupant monitoring studies, while also providing illustrative examples to demonstrate the complexities and solutions for navigating this method. The chapter begins with a recommended systematic procedure for designing, conducting, and publishing in situ occupant studies. Following that, in situ-specific sensor technologies and sensing strategies are discussed in detail, with numerous real examples. This chapter devotes considerable discussion on nuances and practical issues that are frequently encountered during in situ studies, including: sensor placement, validation, access to studied spaces, monitoring spaces with multiple occupants, biases such as the Hawthorne effect, participant recruitment, and ethical considerations. Next, recommendations are provided for the level of documentation that should be provided when publishing in situ studies, with particular attention to the contextual factors that could influence the results. Finally, the use of surveys to complement in situ sensor-based methods is discussed.
William O’Brien, Sara Gilani, H. Burak Gunay

Chapter 7. Laboratory Approaches to Studying Occupants

Laboratories offer the possibility to study occupant behavior in a very detailed manner. A wide range of indoor environmental scenarios can be simulated under precisely controlled conditions, and human subjects can be selected based on pre-defined criteria. The degree of control over experiments is high and a large number of physical, physiological, and psychological quantities can be monitored. This chapter gives an overview of various types of test facilities in the world and their main features in terms of experimental opportunities. It then presents typical technical equipment and sensor technologies used in laboratory environments. Finally, questions on appropriate laboratory design and experimental set-ups are discussed. One conclusion is that, in spite of many advantages, there are limits to investigating occupant behavior in a laboratory’s “artificial” environment, in part due to the fact that subjects always feel observed to some extent. However, valuable results can be achieved if the specific opportunities of laboratories are utilized both by appropriate design and precise experiments during operation.
Andreas Wagner, Rune Korsholm Andersen, Hui Zhang, Richard de Dear, Marcel Schweiker, Edwin Goh, Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt, Rita Streblow, Francesco Goia, Sumee Park

Chapter 8. Survey and Interview Approaches to Studying Occupants

This chapter provides guidance for survey development related to building occupant research. Many researchers studying occupant behavior have used survey methods to collect self-reported data of occupant behaviors in buildings, either exclusively or in tandem with data gathered in field or laboratory studies. The chapter also serves as a how-to guide for issues such as: (a) how should survey questions be conceptualized, (b) are the questions measuring what was intended, (c) how should questions be written so that participants understand the intent, (d) how can the validity be increased for the survey itself, (e) how does one select the appropriate sample for a survey, and (f) how should one select the appropriate survey tool for data collection? Real examples of occupant behavior survey research and case studies offer lessons learned and precedent for future research efforts. Finally, the last section of the chapter presents a brief discussion of interview methods.
Julia K. Day

Chapter 9. Validation and Ground Truths

It is essential to ensure the validation of measurements and the reliability of the collected data. This chapter discusses several topics related to measurement validation and ground truth in occupancy and occupant behavior observations. It introduces the basic concept of measurement quality and calls for attention to the measurement of occupancy and occupant actions. It provides general guidelines for verifying and validating the reliability of collected data. It also offers suggestions for how to construct ground truth data. In this chapter, questions about measurement validation and ground truth are raised and the particularities of occupancy and occupant behavior observations are discussed.
Da Yan, Chuang Wang, Xiaohang Feng, Bing Dong

Chapter 10. Structured Building Data Management: Ontologies, Queries, and Platforms

Building data monitoring, in general, and occupancy-related data collection in particular have the potential to provide deep performance feedback for: (1) operational optimization of existing facilities and (2) improving future designs. For instance, building monitoring can support energy and performance contracting, preventive building maintenance, smart load balancing, and model-predictive building systems control. Nevertheless, currently this potential is not sufficiently realized. To address a major gap in the current practice, the present chapter first introduces an ontology for the representation and incorporation of various kinds of building monitoring data in a number of applications such as building performance simulation tools and building automation systems. Subsequently, common data processing requirements are addressed and a number of typical queries are exemplified that building monitoring data repositories must support. Finally, data repository specifications and implementations for structured collection, storage, processing, and multi-user exchange of monitored data are described.
Ardeshir Mahdavi, Mahnameh Taheri, Matthias Schuss, Farhang Tahmasebi, Stefan Glawischnig

Chapter 11. Ethics and Privacy

When conducting research, one of the primary considerations should be to maintain high scientific and ethical standards, including protecting the rights and benefits of all participants. Researchers should take great care to ensure scientific validity during the design of a study; at the same time, ethical conduct should not be considered a researcher’s burden, but rather an important consideration for any type of research. This chapter provides guidelines for ethics approval by discussing common types of ethics applications, the concepts of informed consent, privacy, and confidentiality, and additional ethical considerations particular to occupant research. While ethical review processes differ across countries and institutions, this chapter provides basic guidance to researchers in the field of occupant behavior to (a) improve their interactions with ethics review boards, (b) help them meet crucial requirements, and (c) ensure their studies are conducted ethically.
Chien-fei Chen, Marcel Schweiker, Julia K. Day

Chapter 12. Concluding Remarks and Future Outlook

This book has defined relevant terms in the field of building occupant research and provided a comprehensive overview of the steps required to study occupants’ behavior in buildings, whether in situ or through laboratory experiments or surveys. It has offered both broad and specific guidance about research design and methodological approaches, including data collection, storage, and processing, and presented relevant discussions of ground truth and ethics. At the time of this book’s publication, the field of occupant research is relatively new, but with rapidly increasing activity. Therefore, the motivation was to significantly improve the state of the art of occupant behavior research methodologies, considering the multidisciplinarity of the field by including authors from the broad backgrounds of engineering, architecture, interior design, information technology, and social sciences. Readers of this book will realize that the field of occupant behavior research still holds a large number of unanswered fundamental questions to be tackled. Thus, this concluding chapter provides the editors’ perspectives on research needs future outlook for the field of occupant behavior.
William O’Brien, Andreas Wagner, Bing Dong
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