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Abstract

Buildings consume a significant amount of energy, estimated at about one-third of total primary energy resources. Building energy efficiency has turned out to be a major issue in limiting the increasing energy demands of the sector. Literature shows that building user behavior can increase the efficiency of the energy used in the building and different strategies have been tested to address and support this issue. These strategies often combine the quantification of energy savings and qualitative interpretation of occupant behavior in order to foster energy efficiency. Strategies that influence building occupant behaviors include eco-feedback, social interaction, and gamification. This review paper presents a study conducted on the state of the art related to the impact of building user behavior on energy efficiency, in order to provide the research community with a better understanding and up-to-date knowledge of energy, comfort-related practices, and potential research opportunities. Achieving and maintaining energy-efficient behavior without decreasing the comfort of building occupants still represents a challenge, despite emerging technologies and strategies as well as general research progress made over the last decade. Conclusions highlight eco-feedback as an effective way to influence behavior, and gamification as a new opportunity to trigger behavioral change. The impact of user behavior is difficult to quantify for methodological reasons. Factors influencing human behavior are numerous and varied. Multi-disciplinary approaches are needed to provide new insights into the inner dynamic nature of occupant’s energy behavior.

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