Build to satisfy

Modeling of user behavior in lowest and plus energy buildings: Consequences for building and comfort

Aim of the project was a better understanding and modeling of effects of user behavior on energy performance in office and service buildings, built with lowest energy building and plus-energy building techniques. The results support facility managers of office buildings and integrate gender and diversity issues.

Employees in service buildings influence building operation in various ways. The subjective opinions and resulting behavior of users are not only determined by ‘objective’ comfort parameters (temperature, draught), but depend decisively on social aspects. Examples for these aspects are: personal control to influence building operation (e.g. can users influence certain operating parameters?), organisation of decision-making processes (e.g. to which extent are users involved in decision-making and do they have the feeling that their concerns and complains are taken seriously?), (previous) knowledge and attitudes of users in terms of energy performance of lowest energy and plus-energy building techniques. Personal experiences, public media, as well as ‘information policy’ of the building operator affect this knowledge.

The project identified parameters, which lead to more user satisfaction and foster their participation for optimal building operation. Emphasis was put on gender and diversity issues that is requirements and behavior of users of different gender, age, ethnic groups, lifestyle etc. The developed recommendations support facility managers of service buildings and provide evidence for future planning processes for buildings and building automation.