Comfort driven adaptive window opening behaviour and the influence of building design

P. Tuohy, H. B. Rijal, M. A. Humphreys, J. F. Nicol, A. Samuel, J. Clarke

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It is important to understand and model the behaviour of occupants in buildings and how this behaviour impacts energy use and comfort. It is similarly important to understand how a buildings design affects occupant comfort, occupant behaviour and ultimately the energy used in the operation of the building. In this work a behavioural algorithm for window opening developed from field survey data has been implemented in a dynamic simulation tool. The algorithm is in alignment with the proposed CEN standard for adaptive thermal comfort. The algorithm is first compared to the field study data then used to illustrate the impact of adaptive behaviour on summer indoor temperatures and heating energy. The simulation model is also used to illustrate the sensitivity of the occupant adaptive behaviour to building design parameters such as solar shading and thermal mass and the resulting impact on energy use and comfort. The results are compared to those from other approaches to model window opening behaviour. The adaptive algorithm is shown to provide insights not available using non adaptive simulation methods and can assist in achieving more comfortable and lower energy buildings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Building Simulation 2007, 10th IBPSA Conference
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • comfort
  • building design
  • building simulation
  • renewable energy


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