Impact of occupant behavior on energy use of HVAC system in offices

Zhipeng Deng, Qingyan Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationConference articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The current methods for simulating building energy consumption are often inaccurate, and the error could be as large as 150%. Various types of occupant behavior may explain this inaccuracy. Therefore, it is important to identify an approach to estimate the impact of the behaviors on the energy consumption. The present study used EnergyPlus program to simulate the energy consumption of the HVAC system in an office building by implementing a behavioral artificial neural network (ANN) model. The behavioral ANN model calculates the probability of behavior occurrence according to indoor air temperature, relative humidity, clothing level and metabolic rate. The probability was used to predict energy use in 20 offices for one month in winter, spring and summer in 2018, respectively. Measured energy data from the offices were used to validate the simulated results. When a behavioral artificial neural network (ANN) model was implemented in the energy simulation, the difference between the simulated results and the measured data was less than 13%. Energy simulation using constant thermostat set point without considering occupant behavior was not accurate. Our further simulations found that adjustment of thermostat set point and clothing level by occupants could lead to 25% and 15% energy use variation in interior offices and exterior offices, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04055
JournalE3S Web of Conferences
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2019
Event13th REHVA World Congress, CLIMA 2019 - Bucharest, Romania
Duration: 26 May 201929 May 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Energy(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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