The impact of occupants’ behaviours on building energy analysis: A research review

Elham Delzendeh, Song Wu, Angela Lee, Ying Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

365 Citations (Scopus)


Over the past 15 years, the evaluation of energy demand and use in buildings has become increasingly acute due to growing scientific and political pressure around the world in response to climate change. The estimation of the use of energy in buildings is therefore a critical process during the design stage. This paper presents a review of the literature published in leading journals through Science Direct and Scopus databases within this research domain to establish research trends, and importantly, to identify research gaps for future investigation. It has been widely acknowledged in the literature that there is an alarming performance gap between the predicted and actual energy consumption of buildings (sometimes this has been up to 300% difference). Analysis of the impact of occupants’ behaviour has been largely overlooked in building energy performance analysis. In short, energy simulation tools utilise climatic data and physical/ thermal properties of building elements in their calculations, and the impact of occupants is only considered through means of fixed and scheduled patterns of behaviour. This research review identified a number of areas for future research including: larger scale analysis (e.g. urban analysis); interior design, in terms of space layout, and fixtures and fittings on occupants’ behaviour; psychological cognitive behavioural methods; and the integration of quantitative and qualitative research findings in energy simulation tools to name but a few.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1061-1071
Number of pages11
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Early online date2 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


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