Environmental and socio-psychological drivers of building users’ behaviours: A case study of tertiary institutional offices in Auckland

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Emerald Publishing
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Purpose: Better identification of comfort preferences and occupant behaviour drivers is expected to improve buildings’ user-centred designs and energy operations. To understand the underline drivers of occupant behaviours in office buildings, this study aims to evaluate the inter-relationships among occupant energy behaviours, indoor environmental quality satisfaction, user control and social-psychological factors influencing occupant behaviours in New Zealand offices. Design/methodology/approach: Using an occupant perception survey, this study identifies the occupant behaviour patterns based on multi-domain comfort preferences. A case study was conducted in five office spaces of a university in Auckland, New Zealand. Data were collected from 52 occupants and analysed using descriptive and binary logistic regression analysis. Indoor environmental quality, user control, motivational, opportunity and ability factors were the independent variables considered. A model to predict the behaviours using environmental, building and social-psychological aspects was developed. Findings: The results showed that the primary sources of indoor environmental quality discomfort were related to thermal and air quality, while occupants’ indoor environmental quality satisfaction correlated with their comfort preferences. The outcomes emphasise how the connection between building systems and occupants’ comfort preferences affect the choice of occupant behaviours in offices. Also, the primary occupant behaviours were drinking hot and cold beverages, opening/closing windows and internal doors and adjusting clothing. The binary logistic regression analysis showed that occupants’ perceived user control satisfaction is the main driver for increasing window actions. No other independent variable showed a statistically significant association with other behaviours. Originality/value: This study adopted a novel approach to assess the combined effects of comfort preferences, occupant energy behaviours and various environmental, building and socio-psychological factors for modelling energy-saving behaviours in office buildings.
Jounal of Facilities Management, 2022