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Using occupant feedback to drive energy efficiency across an entire university campus

  • Author(s): Sanguinetti, Angela;
  • Pritoni, Marco;
  • Salmon, Kiernan;
  • Morejohn, Joshua
  • et al.
Abstract

Despite the significant amount of energy spent on Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) at universities, thermal comfort conditions in campus buildings are frequently poor. Conventional HVAC management systems at universities are typically out of the hands of building occupants and facilities management departments have limited resources to involve them. These factors can lead to over-heating or over-cooling and undiagnosed mechanical issues. Previous research has shown that thermal comfort feedback, or participatory thermal sensing, can simultaneously improve energy efficiency and occupant comfort in university buildings. However, these studies have been limited to single campus buildings and restricted populations of occupants. The success, scalability, and sustainability of any participatory thermal sensing program is dependent upon ongoing participation that is meaningful to occupants and useful to facilities management. Therefore, research is warranted to explore patterns of voluntary participation, thermal comfort, and occupant satisfaction in extended, campus-wide deployments of participatory thermal sensing programs. The present research begins to address these gaps in the context of an 18-month, campus-wide deployment of TherMOOstat, a participatory thermal sensing app and HVAC management system at University of California, Davis.

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