Occupant behavior models: A critical review of implementation and representation approaches in building performance simulation programs

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Occupant behavior (OB) in buildings is a leading factor influencing energy use in buildings. Quantifying this influence requires the integration of OB models with building performance simulation (BPS). This study reviews approaches to representing and implementing OB models in today’s popular BPS programs, and discusses weaknesses and strengths of these approaches and key issues in integrating of OB models with BPS programs. Two key findings are: (1) a common data model is needed to standardize the representation of OB models, enabling their flexibility and exchange among BPS programs and user applications; the data model can be implemented using a standard syntax (e.g., in the form of XML schema), and (2) a modular software implementation of OB models, such as functional mock-up units for co-simulation, adopting the common data model, has advantages in providing a robust and interoperable integration with multiple BPS programs. Such common OB model representation and implementation approaches help standardize the input structures of OB models, enable collaborative development of a shared library of OB models, and allow for rapid and widespread integration of OB models with BPS programs to improve the simulation of occupant behavior and quantification of their impact on building performance.

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