Building Simulation

, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp 949–962 | Cite as

A preliminary investigation of water usage behavior in single-family homes

  • Peng XueEmail author
  • Tianzhen Hong
  • Bing Dong
  • Cheukming Mak
Research Article


As regional drought conditions continue deteriorating around the world, residential water use has been brought into the built environment spotlight. Nevertheless, the understanding of water use behavior in residential buildings is still limited. This paper presents data analytics and results from monitoring data of daily water use (DWU) in 50 single-family homes in Texas, USA. The results show the typical frequency distribution curve of the DWU per household and indicate personal income, education level and energy use of appliances all have statistically significant effects on the DWU per capita. Analysis of the water-intensive use demonstrates the residents tend to use more water in post-vacation days. These results help generate awareness of water use behavior in homes. Ultimately, this research could support policy makers to establish a water use baseline and inform water conservation programs.


water usage behavior daily water use data analytics occupant behavior residential water consumption 


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This work is supported by the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the U.S. Department of Energy under contract number DE-AC02-05CH11231. It is also part of the research activities of International Energy Agency Energy in Buildings and Communities Program Annex 66, definition and simulation of occupant behavior in buildings. The source data were provided by Pecan Street, Inc. (, headquartered in Austin, TX. The authors thank this nonprofit research institute for allowing us access to their subscriber water usage database.


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peng Xue
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Tianzhen Hong
    • 2
  • Bing Dong
    • 3
  • Cheukming Mak
    • 4
  1. 1.Beijing Key Laboratory of Green Built Environment and Energy Efficient TechnologyBeijing University of TechnologyBeijingChina
  2. 2.Building Technology and Urban Systems DivisionLawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of Texas at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA
  4. 4.Department of Building Services EngineeringThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHong KongChina

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