IEA EBC Annex 66: Definition and simulation of occupant behavior in buildings

Publication Type

Journal Article




More than 30% of the total primary energy in the world is consumed in buildings. It is crucial to reduce building energy consumption in order to preserve energy resources and mitigate global climate change. Building performance simulations have been widely used for the estimation and optimization of building performance, providing reference values for the assessment of building energy consumption and the effects of energy-saving technologies. Among the various factors influencing building energy consumption, occupant behavior has drawn increasing attention. Occupant behavior includes occupant presence, movement, and interaction with building energy devices and systems. However, there are gaps in occupant behavior modeling as different energy modelers have employed varied data and tools to simulate occupant behavior, therefore producing different and incomparable results. Aiming to address these gaps, the International Energy Agency (IEA) Energy in Buildings and Community (EBC) Programme Annex 66 has established a scientific methodological framework for occupant behavior research, including data collection, behavior model representation, modeling and evaluation approaches, and the integration of behavior modeling tools with building performance simulation programs. Annex 66 also includes case studies and application guidelines to assist in building design, operation, and policymaking, using interdisciplinary approaches to reduce energy use in buildings and improve occupant comfort and productivity. This paper highlights the key research issues, methods, and outcomes pertaining to Annex 66, and offers perspectives on future research needs to integrate occupant behavior with the building life cycle.


Energy and Building



Year of Publication



Research Areas

Related Files