Occupant Behaviour and Energy Consumption of Dwellings

PHD Research

Merve Bedir PHD


PhD started in: 2007


Latest graduate degree 2006


undergraduate degree  2003


Promoter(s): Sevil Sarıyıldız, Henk Visscher


Daily Supervisor(s): Laure Itard, Evert Hasselaar


Email: m.bedir@tudelft.nl




Main Question: What is the influence of occupant behaviour on the energy consumption of dwellings?



Deliverables: conference papers, scientific papers, PhD thesis


Keywords: occupant behavior, energy consumption, energy performance, dwellings, the Netherlands



Area of Research: Modeling Occupant Behavior and Energy Performance Relationship in Dutch Dwellings



Chair of Design Informatics, Dept. of Architectural Engineering + Technology, Faculty of Architecture




Research Summary:

Advancing research and implementation in addition to energy performance regulations lead the way to reduce the energy consumption and the resulting environmental burden for buildings. However, the energy reductions might fall short of expectations. Occupant behavior, quality of the construction, rebound effects and calculation drawbacks might be undermining the effect of the regulations. Little is known about how occupants interact with dwellings, what the background to this interaction is and the resulting energy consumption. Accurate data on occupant behavior is crucial for investigation. The aim of this research is to reveal the relationship between occupant behavior and energy performance, both in terms of heating energy and electricity consumption. The determinants of occupant behavior, robustness of dwelling energy performance to user behavior, and defining user patterns/profiles are the main elements of this work. This thesis will help towards understanding the occupant related factors of energy consumption in dwellings, by this way designing better energy management systems and achieving more advanced regulations. The research questions are: I. What is the sensitivity of dwelling energy performance to occupant behavior? How can behavior be modeled in order to assess the robustness of the energy performance in dwellings to occupant behavior? II. What is the influence of lighting and appliance use in electricity consumption in dwellings? How much of the variance in electricity consumption in dwellings can be explained by direct and indirect determinants? III. What are the behavioral patterns of energy consumption? What are the behavioral patterns of thermostat control and electricity consumption? How do they relate to the household characteristics?



Research Methodology:

Methodology of modeling the influence of occupant behavior on the energy performance of buildings follows two main approaches: The deductive and the inductive. This terminology refers to the data processing track and the hierarchy of data used in the analysis. Deductive approach utilizes data on the characteristics of household and energy consumption and income levels to find statistical correlation between the energy performance and occupant behavior, whereas the inductive approach calculates the energy performance of a building based on actual occupancy patterns determined by presence, circulation, and operation of lighting, system management devices and appliances. This study’s approach is about combining the deductive and the inductive methodologies, by considering both the determinants of behavior and the behavior itself.


Key Publications:

Bedir, M. Hasselaar, E. Itard, L. ‘Determinants of Electricity Consumption in Dutch Dwellings’, Energy and Buildings, January, 2013

Harputlugil, G. Bedir, M. ‘Effects of Occupant Behavior on Energy Performance of Dwellings: A Sensitivity Analysis’ in review, Architectural Design and Research, 2013

Bedir, M. van Dam, S. ‘Analysis of Thermostat Control Behavior in Dwellings: Evidence from monitoring in the Netherlands’ PLEA, 2013, Munich, Germany

Bedir, M. Hasselaar, E. Itard, L. ‘Occupant Behavior and Energy Performance in Dwellings: A Case Study in the Netherlands’ PLEA2011, Louvain la Neuve, Belgium

Bedir, M. Hasselaar, E. Itard, L. ‘Energy Consumption in Dwellings: The Human Factor’, SB2008, Melbourne, Australia








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