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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Research scoping report: visualizing information in commercial buildings

  • Author(s): Lehrer, David
  • et al.

New data acquisition technologies and information visualization methods provide great opportunities to monitor and display building performance data. Together they provide the building industry with the potential to give feedback to commercial building occupants, managers, and other parties, and to encourage energy-saving behaviors.

A great deal of research has been conducted to evaluate the potential for energy conservation using information feedback to influence occupant behavior in residential buildings. Results of these studies show that immediate energy feedback from meters or display devices can provide savings of 5-15%. However little research has been conducted on such feedback in commercial buildings, which present a greater challenge due to their greater complexity.

Researchers at CBE propose to contribute to this information gap by conducting research on effective visualization of building information in commercial buildings. The goals of this work are: (1) to identify the optimal methods for displaying building performance information, in order to influence commercial building occupants to reduce resource use; and (2) to identify methods to provide actionable information in order to assist building operators in achieving improved building performance; (3) to develop methods to include occupant feedback in these information displays, based on previous work conducted at CBE on occupant comfort and workplace satisfaction; and (4) to develop and test user interfaces for building data with various building stakeholders.

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