Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Construction Management

Document Type



Building energy use is highly sensitive to occupants’ energy-related behaviors, including their presence and interaction with different building systems. Modeling and simulation of occupants’ energy-related behavior play an essential role in accurately predicting building energy consumption. Simplifying occupancy parameters in building performance simulation tools can lead to discrepancies between the simulated and actual building energy performance. The main goal of this research is to simulate the occupants’ energy-related behavior in office buildings and utilize the occupancy data to accurately predict building energy performance. Our objective is to increase building energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption while ensuring occupants' comfort, especially in shared-space office buildings.

To achieve this, the present study provides a systematic review of the existing literature, focusing on modeling and simulation of occupants’ energy-related behaviors. The study aims to determine significant findings, current limitations, and future research directions in this area. To address gaps in the literature, a framework is proposed to analyze the impacts of occupancy parameters on predicting office building energy consumption. An agent-based model (ABM) is developed to generate occupancy schedules based on identified occupancy parameters. Subsequently, the generated occupancy schedule and the Department of Energy (DOE) office building prototype model are integrated into a building performance simulation tool to analyze the impact of occupancy parameters on building energy consumption. Furthermore, this study analyzes the impacts of different occupancy parameters on energy consumption in office buildings across various U.S. climate zones. The dataset of occupancy parameters and building energy performance results are used as inputs for feature selection methods to identify the most influential occupancy parameters. Additionally, this research aims to reduce building energy consumption in hot-humid climate zone by integrating the local air-flow system with the building's central cooling system. To examine the feasibility of the proposed research, an experiment is designed, and the findings are used to perform an energy simulation in EnergyPlus, for an under-occupied office building. Lastly, a cost-benefit analysis is implemented to analyze the energy cost of the proposed model.

The outcome of this research can provide an opportunity to reduce energy consumption by implementing energy-efficient design practices. Additionally, simulating building energy consumption will be beneficial for facility managers to estimate the facilities' end-of-life and provide necessary maintenance when required. Furthermore, it can help maximize occupants' comfort while minimizing building energy consumption.



Committee Chair

Jafari, Amirhosein

Available for download on Tuesday, August 06, 2024