International review of occupant aspects of building energy codes and standards
Occupants are recipients of building services and have direct influence on building operation and performance. However, occupants are often addressed in simplified ways in building energy codes and standards that do not reflect the latest knowledge and scientific literature. This article describes an international review that we performed on 23 regions’ building energy codes and standards. We took two approaches: a quantitative approach focused on comparing occupant-related schedules, densities, and other values, and a qualitative approach whereby written requirements were analyzed. The results indicate major differences between code requirements or key modeling assumptions for code compliance (e.g., by a factor of two or more for plug load and occupant densities). Our review also revealed that few codes refer to occupants explicitly and requirements for building usability are rare. Based on the review and literature, we make some recommendations for how future codes could be adapted to better incorporate occupants.