Occupancy and occupants’ actions

Marcel Schweiker, Salvatore Carlucci, Rune Korsholm Andersen, Bing Dong, William O'Brien

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter

39 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationExploring Occupant Behavior in Buildings
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Challenges
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9783319614649
ISBN (Print)9783319614632
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Computer Science
  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Psychology


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