Building Simulation: An International Journal

Article Title

A simulation-based method to investigate occupant-centric controls


occupant-centric controls, building simulations, energy efficiency, comfort, building operations, lighting, HVAC controls


Occupant-centric control (OCC) strategies rely on different algorithms to learn and predict occupants’ patterns and preferences, then utilize these predictions to optimize building operations. However, testing different OCC algorithms or fine-tuning their configurations in real buildings can be a lengthy process. To this end, we present a framework for testing OCCs in a simulation environment prior to field implementation. The proposed workflow entails using synthetic occupant behaviour models and simulating OCC strategies to learn their preferences. The goal is to enable quick comparison of different OCC configurations under various scenarios by modifying occupant behaviour assumptions, as well as climate and design parameters. For proof-of-concept, the proposed method was applied in a case-study to simulate OCCs for lighting and heating/cooling setpoint adjustments in a single office under various occupant types, as well as OCC settings and design configurations. Results demonstrated the benefits of the proposed framework and its potential for providing a more holistic evaluation of OCCs under different scenarios. Using the proposed framework, building designers and operators can identify potential issues with OCCs and fine-tune their settings prior to field implementation.


Tsinghua University Press