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Open AccessArticle

Occupant Behavior for Energy Conservation in Commercial Buildings: Lessons Learned from Competition at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory

1
Department of Innovation Science, School of Environment and Society, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 3-3-6 Shibaura, Tokyo 105-0023, Japan
2
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Sustainable ORNL Program, 1 Bethel Valley Rd., Oak Ridge, TN 37830, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3297; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123297
Received: 22 April 2019 / Revised: 17 May 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 14 June 2019
Accompanying efforts worldwide to deploy sustainable building technologies shows a pressing need for expanded research on occupant behavior. Discourse is lacking concerning drivers of occupant behavior for energy conservation, especially in the case of commercial buildings. This paper explores potential determinants of occupant behavior for energy conservation in commercial buildings. This is investigated in a case study of a two-month energy conservation competition involving eight office buildings at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Four buildings achieved energy savings based on the previous year’s baseline. Potential challenges and success factors of occupant behavior for energy conservation during the competition were explored based on an explanatory research design incorporating energy data, participant interviews, and surveys. The findings suggest that both social and technological aspects may be important drivers of energy conservation. The determinants of occupant behavior for energy conservation in commercial buildings suggested for further research include bottom-up involvement, stakeholder relationship management, targeted information, real-time energy visualization, and mobile social platforms. This paper presents initial implications, with a need for further research on these propositions and on their impacts on occupant behavior. This paper aims to contribute to both academia and practitioners in the arena of commercial building sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: occupant behavior; energy conservation; sustainable buildings; behavioral change; commercial building; competition occupant behavior; energy conservation; sustainable buildings; behavioral change; commercial building; competition
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Ahl, A.; Accawi, G.; Hudey, B.; Lapsa, M.; Nichols, T. Occupant Behavior for Energy Conservation in Commercial Buildings: Lessons Learned from Competition at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Sustainability 2019, 11, 3297.

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