Introduction to an occupant behavior motivation survey framework

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Journal Article



An increasing body of research is underlying the need to foster energy behaviors and interaction with technology as a way to achieve energy savings in office buildings. However, engaging office users into more “forgiving” comfort-adaptive behavior is not a trivial task, since neither consequences nor benefits for changing behavior have visible or tangible effects on them personally. Since the 70’s, survey studies in the field of building science have been used to gain better understanding of multidisciplinary drivers of occupant behavior with respect to comfort and energy requirements in buildings. Rather than focusing on individual behaviors – and influencing factors – purpose of this survey research is to provide quantitative descriptions on the collective and social motivations within the complexity of different social groups in working environment, under different geographical context, culture and norms. The resultant questionnaire survey emerges as a combination of traditional and adaptive comfort theories, merged with social science theory. The questionnaire explores to what extent the occupant energy-related behavior in working spaces is driven by a motivational sphere influenced by i) comfort requirements, ii) habits, iii) intentions and iv) actual control of building systems. The key elements of the proposed occupant behavior motivational framework are grounded on the Driver Need Action System framework for energy-related behaviors in buildings. Goal of the study is to construct an additional layer of standardized knowledge to enrich the state-of-the-art on energy-related behavior in office buildings.

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