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Automate and motivate: behaviour-reliant building technology solutions or reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Architectural Science Review, Volume 53, Number 1, p.87-94 (2010)



An adequate response to climate change requires that commercial buildings achieve substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. To realize maximum reductions, the adoption of bioclimatic architectural principles and incorporation of renewable energy technologies will be imperative. As these couple building conditions to the local climate, we anticipate a shift away from fixed indoor comfort conditions towards adaptive comfort control. Trials are currently being conducted in Australian commercial office buildings to demonstrate the effectiveness of advanced heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) control. These include behaviour-reliant technologies to actively manage occupant expectations, influence comfort perception and promote thermal acceptability. This article describes the approach taken and presents some early results. We suggest that deep emission reductions will require the integration of advanced HVAC control with behavioural change centric techniques - that is, to automate and motivate.