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Assessing occupant satisfaction and energy behaviours in Toronto’s LEED gold high-rise residential buildings

Craig Brown (Environmental Applied Science and Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada, and)
Mark Gorgolewski (Department of Architectural Science, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)

International Journal of Energy Sector Management

ISSN: 1750-6220

Article publication date: 28 October 2014

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present four purposes: to assess occupant satisfaction with indoor environmental quality (IEQ); to determine if occupants appear to be operating their dwellings in an energy efficient manner; to suggest ways that occupant satisfaction and behaviour can help or hinder energy efficiency; and to show that the post-occupancy evaluation approach is an effective tool in diagnosing and improving satisfaction and energy efficiency in high-rise residential buildings.

Design/methodology/approach

Beyond measuring occupant satisfaction with IEQ, this paper uses scores and user comments from occupant questionnaires to identify success and indicate frustration and/or confusion with particular building technologies. It also extrapolates the energy efficiency implications of these responses in four Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold residential towers.

Findings

The research highlights where problems occur, particularly with the adoption of new technologies which may not be well understood by the occupants. It also identifies behaviour patterns that may negate energy efficiency strategies.

Research limitations/implications

The lack of dwelling metre data prevents this research from making causal links between behaviours and their energy implications. Also, the lack of Canadian benchmarks for satisfaction of occupants means that comparisons can only be made to cases from the UK, which is less robust.

Originality/value

This type of work has never been done in Canadian residential high rise towers before. It helps to better understand the process of ensuring that occupants successfully adopt innovation that can lead to energy savings.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the Adrian Leaman at BUS Methodology for his support with this project. Funding for this project was, in part, provided by the Government of Canada’s FedDev Ontario Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative. The Government of Canada provided no additional research support for this project.

Citation

Brown, C. and Gorgolewski, M. (2014), "Assessing occupant satisfaction and energy behaviours in Toronto’s LEED gold high-rise residential buildings", International Journal of Energy Sector Management, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 492-505. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJESM-11-2013-0007

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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