Building User Audit: Capturing Behavior, Energy, and Culture
Borhani, Seyed Alireza
MetadataShow full item record
Building construction is a major sector of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions production in United States. During the last decade many sustainability strategies were provided and performed by top designers, constructors, and decision makers in the building market in order to reduce energy use, minimize environmental impacts, and improve buildings performance. Implementing the sustainability strategies and energy efficiency programs in educational buildings (e.g. classroom and office buildings on university campuses) is specifically important because of the large amount of energy used by this type of buildings, their unique potential for testing new technologies and innovative sustainability solutions, and high instructive values of these programs for students,. Despite of valuable efforts made towards sustainable development in the building industry, a considerable discrepancy exists between predicted and actual building performance and energy use mainly because of neglecting the occupant’s behavior impacts. This research aimed to address the current gap in analysis of user-influenced energy use in educational buildings by developing and piloting a Building User Audit Procedure (BUAP) that determines how buildings are actually being used and how user behaviors affect energy use in campus buildings. The research methodology consists of using three case studies (educational buildings on a university campus) and conducting a survey in order to collecting both perceived and actual energy related user behaviors. The building user audit indicated that building users have a considerable effect on energy use particularly on electrical lighting and miscellaneous electrical loads. Also, the data analysis reveals a difference between the occupants expected behaviors/actions and their actual behaviors/actions in terms of space and energy use. For instance, the building occupants are using natural lighting and ventilation much less than what is expected and what they report. In addition, according to the survey over 40% of respondents believe in pro-environmental behaviors yet less than one third believe they can have a positive impact on climate change. All these facts show a significant potential opportunity for fostering the pro-environmental behaviors among the educational building users. Implementation of the BUAP helps the stakeholders to gain a better understanding of their building’s performance which enable them to utilize the most effective techniques and technologies and also design a training program based on the unique behaviors of their occupants to improve the level of sustainability in their facilities. Supplemental Files: Two Smart Excel sheets (Manual Observation and Automated Monitoring) are attached to this document. Please refer to chapter 3 to read more about the smart excel sheets.