Long-term experimental analysis of occupancy and lighting in religious facilities Academic Article uri icon


  • 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Buildings of religious worship constitute nearly 8% of all commercial buildings in the United States. However, to date, religious facilities have received inadequate attention in the literature. Religious facilities exhibit unique patterns of occupancy and energy usage that do not reflect the general patterns of office, education, and other commercial buildings. This paper characterizes building lighting consumption and occupancy patterns in religious facilities to identify potential energy-saving opportunities through a long-term, in-depth experimental study. Occupancy and lighting schedules are experimentally determined for two architecturally identical church buildings in different climates. General trends of occupancy reveal intermittent, but consistent, use of the building. The feasibility of occupancy based lighting control in these buildings is evaluated. Experimental results of occupancy based lighting control in the church buildings demonstrate the limited potential for energy savings and that individual areas of the building should be considered and evaluated separately given the varied usage patterns.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Terrill, T. J., Morelli, F. J., & Rasmussen, B. P.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Terrill, Trevor J||Morelli, Franco J||Rasmussen, Bryan P

publication date

  • January 2016