Profiling occupant behaviour in Danish dwellings using time use survey data

Verena M. Barthelmes, Rongling Li, Rune K. Andersen, William Bahnfleth, Stefano P. Corgnati, Carsten Rode

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


The human interaction with the building is a key cause of uncertainty when predicting energy consumption of buildings. Building occupants affect building energy use directly and indirectly by interacting with building energy systems, for example, by adjusting thermostats, switching lights on/off, using electrical devices and opening/closing windows. The occupants’ daily activity profiles and occupancy patterns clearly shape the timing and magnitude of energy demand in households. Modelling energy-related human activities throughout the day, therefore, is a crucial task for prediction of energy use and, consequently, to reduce the gap between real and predicted building energy use. This study modelled data gathered in the diary-based Danish Time Use Survey (TUS) 2008/09 of 9640 individuals from 4679 households. Individuals’ daily activities were logged in 10-min time increments for 24 h, starting and ending at 04:00, during both weekdays and weekends. The aims of this study were to (i) profile energy-related daily activities of occupants during different seasons and weekdays/weekends (ii) investigate time-related characteristics of activities such as starting and ending times and durations, and (iii) profile occupancy patterns for weekdays/weekends for different household types. The outcomes provide valuable input for building energy simulation for bridging the gap between simulated and real energy consumption in the Danish residential sector; typical occupancy profiles for different household types for different days of the week are freely available online [1].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-340
Number of pages12
JournalEnergy and Buildings
StatePublished - Oct 15 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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