A study of the impact of occupant behaviors on energy performance of building envelopes using occupants data Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 Elsevier B.V. This paper investigates the influence of occupant lifestyle patterns on the energy performance of the residential buildings with various building envelopes in different climate zones. For this purpose, an existing multi-family apartment building in Iran was selected as the experimental residential building and the validity of energy simulation was examined based on the real data of the building energy consumption. The energy demand of the building before and after renovation was simulated via EnergyPlus for different climate zones. The sensitivity analyses confirmed that the occupants behavior has a significant impact on the building's thermal energy usage especially in hot climate areas and can change the heating and cooling loads up to about 90%. Using the validated model, a parametric study was performed to investigate the influences of the occupant's behavior on the efficiency of the building envelope including window and cladding materials in different climate zones. The results show that the interaction between the occupants behaviors and envelope materials is significant in that the occupant behaviors can change the strategy of choosing the envelop material types. Fluctuation of thermal energy consumption caused by changing of window types can rise to 20% for this case study. Also, it is shown that underestimating the level of occupancy loads can exaggerate the effects of the envelope on the thermal energy consumption rate. Overall, this study emphasizes the importance of applying near actual user behavior data on energy simulation analyses performed for the studies of building sustainability and lifecycle assessment.

published proceedings

  • Energy and Buildings

author list (cited authors)

  • Yousefi, F., Gholipour, Y., & Yan, W.

publication date

  • January 1, 2017 11:11 AM