Chapter 1

Exploring The Potential of Combining Technological Innovations with Qualitative Methods in Occupant Behaviour Research

Mateus V. Bavaresco*, Ricardo F. Rupp and Enedir Ghisi


The literature emphasises the important role that occupants play regarding the energy performance of buildings. Scholars have applied several methods to assess occupants’ preferences and practices in their field studies. Technological innovations such as Internet-of-Things (IoT) may capture valuable objective information that can be translated into mathematical models. Such models are vital in Building Performance Simulation (BPS) practices as they are expected to reduce performance gaps between expected and real energy use in buildings during operational phase. However, datadriven models strictly related to physical parameters exclude essential subjective information like occupant preferences and needs. There is enough evidence showing that individual differences impact on thermal preferences and levels of comfort indoors, which must also be considered in occupant behaviour studies. Aside from individual preferences, there is also social influence when occupants share spaces and the control of building systems. Several methods commonly used in social science studies are expected to incorporate the needed subjective information in this field if properly used. Therefore, this chapter explores the potentials of combining objective information gathered from technological innovations with subjective inputs obtained through qualitative methods.

Total Pages: 1-37 (37)

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