Use of Immersive Virtual Environments to Understand Human-Building Interactions and Improve Building Design

  • Arsalan Heydarian
  • Evangelos Pantazis
  • David Gerber
  • Burcin Becerik-Gerber
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 528)


Previous research has shown occupants’ behavior and interactions with building systems and components have a significant impact on the total energy consumption of buildings. Incorporating occupant requirements to the design process could result in better operations, and therefore, improve the total energy consumption of buildings. Currently, buildings are primarily designed based on several common assumptions about occupant requirements, which in many cases are incorrect and result in inefficiencies during the buildings’ operation phase. With the recent improvements in the fields of virtual and augmented reality, designers now have the opportunity to accurately collect and analyze occupants’ behavioral information. In this research, through the use of immersive virtual environments, the influence of different design features on end-user behavior (preferences and patterns) and performances are examined. A case study is presented, in which the authors measure the end-users’ lighting preferences to better understand the impact of preferences on end-users’ performances and lighting-related energy consumption.


Immersive virtual environments Human building interaction Design features Design process 



This project is part of the National Science Foundation funding under the contract 1231001. Any discussion, procedure, results, and conclusions discussed in this paper are the authors’ views and do not reflect the views of National Science Foundation. Special thanks to all the participants and people that contributed to this project, specifically Saba Khashe and Joao Carneiro for their contribution on helping with preparing and running the experiments.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arsalan Heydarian
    • 1
  • Evangelos Pantazis
    • 1
  • David Gerber
    • 2
  • Burcin Becerik-Gerber
    • 1
  1. 1.Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.School of Architecture and School of EngineeringUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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