The reliability of building performance simulation (BPS) predictions is impaired by a number of uncertainties, among which occupant behaviour (OB) plays a major role. Methods to relevantly model OB are essential to achieve energy efficient and comfortable buildings. This study contributes to the ongoing discussion concerning how to model OB in BPS. Specifically, a sensitivity analysis to various aspects of OB is used to assess the impact of using different levels of modelling complexity in the conceptual design phase. A method based on the statistical Mann–Whitney test is proposed to identify those aspects of OB that are influential for a performance indicator, and which might require a higher modelling complexity. Sixteen variants of an individual office constitute the case study. The results show how generalizations concerning robustness of a building typology to OB are not possible. Increasing modelling complexity does not necessarily lead to more accurate, or even to different results.
Gaetani, I., Hoes, P., & Hensen, J. L. M. (2017). On the sensitivity to different aspects of occupant behaviour for selecting the appropriate modelling complexity in building performance predictions. Journal of Building Performance Simulation, 10(5-6), 601-611. https://doi.org/10.1080/19401493.2016.1260159