Release of occupant behavior modeling tools

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Dear Building Simulation community,

We are happy to release three occupant-behavior modeling tools, developed
under the U.S.-China CERC-BEE project and IEA Annex 66, and funded by the
Building Technologies Office (BTO) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
These tools improve representation and modeling of occupant behavior in
building performance simulation (BPS). Please visit and go
to the Downloads page to download the obXML and obFMU tools which include
documentation and examples. The Occupancy Simulator is available as a web
application at

*obXML: An occupant behavior XML schema*

obXML is an XML schema that standardizes the representation and exchange of
occupant behavior models for BPS. obXML builds upon the DNAS
(Drivers-Needs-Actions-Systems) ontology: *Drivers* represent environmental
factors that stimulate occupants to fulfill physical, physiological or
psychological needs. *Needs* represent the physical and non-physical
requirements of the occupant that must be met in order to ensure
satisfaction with their environment. *Actions *are the interactions with
systems or activities that occupants can perform to achieve environmental
comfort. *Systems* refer to the equipment or mechanisms within the
building with which occupants may interact to restore or maintain
environmental comfort. A library of obXML files, representing typical
energy-related occupant behavior in buildings, has been developed from the
literature. These obXML files can be exchanged between different BPS
programs, different applications and different users.

*obFMU: An occupant behavior functional mockup unit*

obFMU is a functional mockup unit that can be co-simulated with BPS
programs using the standard functional mockup interface (FMI). obFMU reads
occupant behavior models represented in obXML and functions as a solver. A
variety of occupant behavior models are supported by obFMU, including (1)
lighting control based on occupant?s visual comfort need and availability
of daylight, (2) occupant thermal comfort temperature setpoints, (3) HVAC
system control based on occupant?s thermal comfort needs, (4) plug load
control based on occupancy, and (5) windows opening and closing based on
indoor and outdoor environmental parameters. obFMU has been used with
EnergyPlus and ESP-r to improve modeling of occupant behavior.

*Occupancy Simulator: An agent-based simulation of occupant presence and

Occupancy Simulator is a web application that simulates occupant presence
and movement in a building using a Markov-chain model. It takes high-level
inputs on occupants, spaces and events, then simulates occupant movement
and generates occupancy schedules for each space. The generated schedules
capture the diversity and stochastic nature of occupant activities. These
schedules can be downloaded as CSV files and EnergyPlus schedule object IDF
code snippets.

Please contact us if you have questions on the development or application
of these tools.

Tianzhen Hong, PhD

Staff Scientist

Building Technology and Urban Systems Division

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

thong at

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