Examining the relationships between stationary occupancy and building energy loads in us educational buildings-case study

Seungtaek Lee, Wai Oswald Chong, Jui Sheng Chou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Building energy systems are designed to handle both permanent and temporary occupants. Permanent occupants are considered the base energy load while temporary occupants are considered a temporary or additional load. Temporary occupancy is potentially the most difficult to design as the number of temporary occupants varies more significantly than permanent occupants. This case study was designed to investigate the effect of occupancy on energy loads, i.e., the relationship between occupancy and building energy loads. This study estimated the building occupancy by using existing network infrastructure, such as Wi-Fi and wired Ethernet based on the assumption that the number of Wi-Fi connections and the wired Ethernet traffic were used as a proxy for total and stationary occupancy. The relationships were then examined using correlations and regression analyses. The results showed the following: 1. Stationary occupancy was successfully estimated using the network infrastructure; 2. There was a linear relationship between electricity use and total occupancy (and, thus, the use of network infrastructure); 3. Permanent occupants generated a higher impact on the electricity load than the temporary occupants; 4. There was a logarithmic relationship between electricity use and the Ethernet data traffic (a proxy of permanent occupants); and 5. The statistical and qualitative analyses indicated that there was no significant relationship between occupancy and thermal loads, such as cooling and heating loads.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number893
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • Building energy loads
  • Building occupancy
  • Electricity consumption
  • Network traffic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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