Arsalan Heydarian: Lights, building, action: The impact of occupant behavior on building energy consumption

Monday, March 6th
10:45 – Noon, Rice Hall Room 242

Link Lab Seminar

Arsalan Heydarian
Postdoctoral Candidate
Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Southern California (USC)


Reports from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and other energy-related organizations around the world indicate that building energy consumption accounts for up to 30-40% of the total energy consumption in the United States and worldwide. Previous studies have shown that occupant behavior and interactions with building systems can significantly influence the total energy consumption in buildings. However, there exists a large gap in the current scientific approaches to quantitatively identify and model the influence of occupant behavior on the building energy consumption. In order to address this limitation, in my research, I (1) collected occupant-related information through immersive virtual environments (IVEs), (2) identified the factors (e.g., initial lighting setting, personality, control options, etc.) that influence occupant lighting preferences and their interactions with lighting and shading systems, and (3) integrated behavioral models into building performance simulations (BPS) in order to better identify the influence of occupants on the building energy consumption. By having access to occupant information and behavioral models, we can reduce the uncertainties related to building energy consumption and move towards integrating user-centered considerations in the design and operation of the future cyber-physical systems in order to increase their flexibility, adaptability, and resilience.

About the speaker:

Arsalan Heydarian is a Ph.D. candidate in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Southern California (USC). He received his bachelor’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Virginia Tech. He also holds two master’s degrees in Construction Engineering and Management and Systems Architecting and Engineering from Virginia Tech and USC, respectively. In his master’s thesis, he introduced a computer vision-based approach for automatically detecting, tracking, and recognizing actions of construction equipment in order to automatically perform productivity analysis of construction operations. In his Ph.D., he focused on investigating how the design and operation of buildings could be improved by centering them around occupant preferences and behaviors while simultaneously reducing the overall energy consumption. Arsalan has published 7 peer-reviewed journal papers and over 10 peer-reviewed conference papers.

For more information, please see this flyer.

The Link Lab seminar series is open to the University community and region.
This seminar is hosted by Professor Jon Goodall.

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