Energy-saving potential evaluation for primary schools with occupant-centric controls

Yunyang Ye, Yan Chen, Jian Zhang, Zhihong Pang, Zheng O'Neill, Bing Dong, Hwakong Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Recent studies demonstrated that there is significant energy-saving potential for primary schools, which heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems with occupant-centric control (OCC) is an excellent candidate to save energy. However, such an energy impact has yet to be evaluated for different climate zones as well as different energy code versions, but is critical for technology transfer and deployment. Therefore, this paper conducts comprehensive evaluation on the energy-saving potentials for the primary schools with two advanced OCC strategies: presence-based and counting-based. Ninety-six building energy models with stochastic behavior of occupants are developed and simulated, which consist of two building energy code versions, 16 climate zones, and baseline case (without OCC) and two advanced cases (with OCC). To evaluate the energy saving potentials for OCC, primary schools in the U.S. are used as an example. The results show that there is significant energy-saving potential for primary schools by considering OCC strategies, especially the counting-based case. The energy-saving potential is up to 10.2% for presence-based OCC and 12.41% for counting-based OCC. Furthermore, both climate and code version have a significant impact on energy savings from OCC strategies. The energy-saving potentials vary from 1.79% to 12.41% for different climates and code versions. This evaluation can also contribute to quantify the nationwide energy saving potential for other countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116854
JournalApplied Energy
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


  • Demand control ventilation
  • Energy saving
  • EnergyPlus
  • Occupant-centric control
  • Primary school

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Energy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Building and Construction
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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