Building and Environment vol:46 issue:4 pages:835-848
In building simulations it is common practice to use standardized occupant behavior and internal gains. Although this is a valid approach for designing systems, in real systems the probabilistic nature of these boundary conditions influences the energy demand and achieved thermal comfort. This paper analyses the influence of occupant behavior on the energy performance and thermal comfort of a typical office floor equipped with thermally activated building system (TABS). A multi-zone TRNSYS model with 10 adjacent zones per orientation for a typical moderate Belgian climate is set up. First, the energy performance and thermal comfort of thermally activated building systems (TABS) are compared with the performance of ideal cooling with standardized user behavior. TABS are able to deliver good thermal comfort but show to have a higher energy demand. Secondly, probabilistic occupant behavior was implemented in the TABS simulations. The influence of the occupancy rate, the shading device use and switching of the lights are analyzed by defining user profiles. It is shown that occupant behavior may have an important influence on the cooling demand and thermal comfort. However, as long as good solar protection is foreseen and operated in a correct way, TABS are able to cope with different user behavior. In this case, normal daily stochastic processes do not considerably affect the cooling demand and thermal comfort during summer.