International Construction Specialty Conference of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (ICSC) (5th : 2015)

Discovering the values of residential building occupants for value-sensitive improvement of building energy efficiency Amasyali, Kadir; El-Gohary, Nora


Improving building energy efficiency is one of the best strategies to reduce building energy consumption. Recent studies emphasized the importance of occupant behavior as key means of enhancing building energy efficiency. It is critical that while we strive to improve the energy efficiency of buildings through the understanding of energy use behavior that we also understand the values (such as thermal comfort, indoor air quality, productivity) of building occupants, how these values may impact energy use behavior, and how we can improve energy efficiency without negatively impacting these values (i.e., while maintaining the satisfaction levels with these values). This paper focuses on presenting the authors work in (1) identifying potential occupant values that may impact energy use behavior and energy consumption in residential buildings, (2) discovering actual building occupant values and the importance levels of these values to residential building occupants, and (3) discovering the current satisfaction levels of residential building occupants with these values. The discovery of actual occupant values and current satisfaction levels was conducted using an online survey. A randomly selected set of 310 residential building occupants in Arizona (AZ), Illinois (IL), and Pennsylvania (PA) were surveyed using an online questionnaire. The paper discusses the value discovery, questionnaire design, survey results, results analysis, and conclusions. The results showed similarities and differences across occupants in AZ, IL, and PA in terms of what they value in buildings as well as their current satisfaction levels with these values.

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