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Title: The human dimensions of energy use in buildings: A review

The “human dimensions” of energy use in buildings refer to the energy-related behaviors of key stakeholders that affect energy use over the building life cycle. Stakeholders include building designers, operators, managers, engineers, occupants, industry, vendors, and policymakers, who directly or indirectly influence the acts of designing, constructing, living, operating, managing, and regulating the built environments, from individual building up to the urban scale. Among factors driving high-performance buildings, human dimensions play a role that is as significant as that of technological advances. However, this factor is not well understood, and, as a result, human dimensions are often ignored or simplified by stakeholders. This work presents a review of the literature on human dimensions of building energy use to assess the state-of-the-art in this topic area. The paper highlights research needs for fully integrating human dimensions into the building design and operation processes with the goal of reducing energy use in buildings while enhancing occupant comfort and productivity. This research focuses on identifying key needs for each stakeholder involved in a building's life cycle and takes an interdisciplinary focus that spans the fields of architecture and engineering design, sociology, data science, energy policy, codes, and standards to provide targeted insights. Greatermore » understanding of the human dimensions of energy use has several potential benefits including reductions in operating cost for building owners; enhanced comfort conditions and productivity for building occupants; more effective building energy management and automation systems for building operators and energy managers; and the integration of more accurate control logic into the next generation of human-in-the-loop technologies. The review concludes by summarizing recommendations for policy makers and industry stakeholders for developing codes, standards, and technologies that can leverage the human dimensions of energy use to reliably predict and achieve energy use reductions in the residential and commercial buildings sectors.« less
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  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Building Technology and Urban Systems Division
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 81; Journal Issue: P1; Journal ID: ISSN 1364-0321
Research Org:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B); IEA-EBC Annex 66
Country of Publication:
United States
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; 32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; Human dimensions; Energy use; Occupant behavior; Building life cycle; Energy performance; Stakeholders
OSTI Identifier: