Exploration of Building-Occupant Communication Methods for Reducing Energy Consumption in Buildings

  • Saba Khashe
  • Arsalan Heydarian
  • Joao Carneiro
  • Burcin Becerik-Gerber
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 529)


Buildings consume enormous amounts of our nation’s total energy use (38 %). Previous work showed that occupant actions and behaviors have significant impacts (more than 40 %) on building energy demand. Our main goal is to transform buildings into interactive living spaces that communicate with their occupants via agents and influence the way the occupants interact with their building to enable energy efficiency. As a first step towards this goal, we investigated effective communication methods aimed at influencing building occupants’ energy-related behaviors. We hypothesized that human-building communication would be more persuasive if the interaction is seen as more social. To investigate the influence of social influence methods (e.g., foot in the door, rule of reciprocity, and direct request) on occupants’ energy consumption behavior, experiments were conducted in which immersive virtual environments (IVEs) were used to model real-life office settings.


Social influence methods Immersive virtual environment Compliance Social features 



This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1351701. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saba Khashe
    • 1
  • Arsalan Heydarian
    • 1
  • Joao Carneiro
    • 1
  • Burcin Becerik-Gerber
    • 1
  1. 1.Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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