Occupant behaviour in mixed-mode office buildings in a subtropical climate: Beyond typical models of adaptive actions

Ricardo Forgiarini Rupp*, Rune Korsholm Andersen, Jørn Toftum, Enedir Ghisi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Recent years have seen considerable interest amongst building professionals and researchers in describing occupant behaviour. This has led to the development of models of adaptive behaviour to improve the accuracy and realism of building energy and indoor environment simulations. The objective of this study was to go beyond the typical behaviour models for building simulation and suggest models for other adaptive actions, such as changing clothes or ingestion of hot or cold beverages. The scope of the study is mixed-mode buildings, which alternate the air-conditioning operation and the opening of windows according to outdoor conditions and occupant preferences. A field study on occupant thermal comfort and behaviour in office buildings was performed in a subtropical climate in Brazil. Simple and multiple logistic models and mixed effects logistic models of adaptive actions were used to analyse key variables based on the results of the field campaign. Occupant clothing behaviour was affected by thermal sensation, clothing insulation and indoor operative temperature. The action of drinking a hot beverage was affected by occupant thermal sensation and the indoor operative temperature, while the cold drink intake was linked to both indoor and outdoor thermal conditions. Our analysis of windows and air-conditioning operation may be used by researchers and practitioners as input for simulations of mixed-mode offices, which can improve energy use predictions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107541
JournalBuilding and Environment
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Brazil
  • Clothing
  • Cooling
  • Hybrid ventilation
  • Logistic regression
  • Natural ventilation


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