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Occupant modelling for building design and energy codes: roadmap, feasibility study, best practices guidebook, and tested case study

Lead Proponent: Carleton University
Location: Ottawa, ON
CEI Contribution: $ 350,750
Project Total: $ 566,750
Strategic Area: Energy Efficient Buildings and Communities

Project Objectives:

The project will develop methods and recommendations to advance the state-of-the-art in building occupant modelling practice from a primarily research-oriented status to common building simulation-supported design practice and building codes. The focus is on commercial and institutional buildings, though the findings can be mostly generalized to residential buildings.

The ultimate long-term objective is to support the Canadian (and indirectly international) construction industry to design buildings that: (1) are more comfortable and productive environments, (2) use less energy and emit lower greenhouse gas emissions as a result of better informed decision-making, and (3) have higher performance certainty with regards to occupants, particularly in the context of net-zero energy buildings and other buildings with absolute energy targets. The impacts of better building design are widespread and cover the triple bottom line of environmental, economical, and social benefits.

Expected Results:

The long-term outcomes of the project are to advance: 1) Canadian building code to require more detailed and appropriate occupant modelling; 2) building simulation tools to incorporate appropriate occupant modelling and the corresponding challenges (e.g., uncertainty), and 3) the Canadian building stock to be much higher performance – with many net-zero energy buildings – regarding energy, comfort, productivity, usability, and a much better ability to adapt and perform well in partial occupancy.

Project Partners:

Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin Inc. (RWDI)
Autodesk Research

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