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Schedule-Calibrated Occupant Behavior Simulation

Symposium on Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design
2010

Abstract

Building performance simulation promises to reduce the future impact of buildings on the environment by helping architects predict the energy demand associated with different design options. We present a new method for simulating occupant behavior in buildings, a key phase in the prediction of energy use. Our method first inputs the recorded activities of actual building occupants, then randomly generates fictional schedules with similar behavioral patterns. The main contribution of this work is a mathematical technique in which an arbitrary set of factors can be used to select plausible activity types, durations, and numbers of participants during a simulation. A prototype model was implemented to test the method, and results obtained to date suggest that the generated occupant schedules are believable when compared both qualitatively and quantitatively to real occupant schedules.

 

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Building Simulation

Buildings are the largest consumers of energy responsible for 48% of all Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. Due to the complexity and multidisciplinary aspects of architectural design, construction, urban design, and building occupant behavior, simulation has gained attention as a means of addressing this enormous challenge. The idea is to model a building’s many interacting subsystems, including its occupants, electrical equipment, and indoor and outdoor climate. With simulation results in hand, an architect is better able to predict the energy demand associated with various designs, and choose from among the more sustainable options.

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