This article demonstrates how different assumptions about occupants during building performance simulation (BPS)-aided design can lead to different design decisions. This is accomplished by evaluating the sensitivity of several building design parameters against the occupant-related assumptions made by the energy modeler, architect, and mechanical engineer. The model described in this article is that of a real office building in Toronto, Canada. By altering occupant-related assumptions (such as the number of people in the building, the plug-in equipment power density [EPD], and the lighting power density [LPD]), this study shows the sensitivity of the ranking of design alternatives as well as energy-savings potential fluctuations when different assumptions are applied.

ASHRAE Journal
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Abuimara, T. (Tareq), O’Brien, W. (William), Gunay, H.B, & Sebastián Carrizo, J. (Juan). (2020). How assumptions about occupants can misinform building design. ASHRAE Journal, 62(1).