On the Effect of Occupant Behavior and Internal Heat Gains on the Building’s Energy Demand : A case study of an office building and a retirement home

Abstract: About 12% of the greenhouse gas emissions and 40% of the total energy use in the EU derive from the buildings. User behavior, construction, and HVAC systems has a significant impact on a building’s energy use. If a building is to be energy-efficient it is important to understand how all these parameters are connected. This study is motivated by the need to decrease the energy use in buildings to reach the goals of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. In this thesis, measurements of indoor climate and electricity use, together with time diaries was used to create input data for an energy simulation model of a retirement home. A parametric study was conducted to simulate how energy demand was affected by changes in five different parameters in an office building. Also, two different energy-efficiency indicators were used to see how indicators can affect the perceived energy-efficiency of buildings.High amount of airing and low electricity use had the most impact on the heating demand in the retirement home, and electricity use had the highest impact on the total energy demand in the office building. The model of the retirement home using data gathered on-site had 24% higher energy use than the model using standard user input data. In the office building, total energy demand for heating and cooling could be lowered with 12-31% by lowering the electricity use with 30% compared to standard user input data.For office buildings the most important thing to lower total energy demand seems to be lowering the electricity use. Using today’s standard user input data does not correspond well to using on-site gathered data in a retirement home and it is therefore important to develop the standard user input data further. The indicator kWh/m2, seems to promote buildings with low occupancy. This could lead to buildings being utilized in an in-efficient way. The indicator kWh/m2 should either be replaced or combined with an indicator that takes occupancy into consideration.