This chapter provides an overview of in situ methods to study occupant behavior and presence. The aim of the chapter is to provide new and established researchers with a systematic approach to in situ occupant monitoring studies, while also providing illustrative examples to demonstrate the complexities and solutions for navigating this method. The chapter begins with a recommended systematic procedure for designing, conducting, and publishing in situ occupant studies. Following that, in situ-specific sensor technologies and sensing strategies are discussed in detail, with numerous real examples. This chapter devotes considerable discussion on nuances and practical issues that are frequently encountered during in situ studies, including: sensor placement, validation, access to studied spaces, monitoring spaces with multiple occupants, biases such as the Hawthorne effect, participant recruitment, and ethical considerations. Next, recommendations are provided for the level of documentation that should be provided when publishing in situ studies, with particular attention to the contextual factors that could influence the results. Finally, the use of surveys to complement in situ sensor-based methods is discussed.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL
O'Brien, W, Gilani, S. (Sara), & Gunay, H.B. (2017). In situ approaches to studying occupants. In Exploring Occupant Behavior in Buildings: Methods and Challenges (pp. 129–167). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-61464-9_6