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Laboratory approaches to studying occupants

: Wagner, Andreas; Andersen, Rune Korsholm; Zhang, Hui; Dear, Richard de; Schweiker, Marcel; Goh, Edwin; Marken Lichtenbelt, Wouten van; Streblow, Rita; Goia, Francesco; Park, Sumee


Wagner, Andreas (Hrsg.):
Exploring Occupant Behavior in Buildings. Methods and Challenges
Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2018
ISBN: 978-3-319-61463-2 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-319-61464-9 (Online)
Book Article
Fraunhofer IBP ()

Laboratories offer the possibility to study occupant behavior in a very detailed manner. A wide range of indoor environmental scenarios can be simulated under precisely controlled conditions, and human subjects can be selected based on pre-defined criteria. The degree of control over experiments is high and a large number of physical, physiological, and psychological quantities can be monitored. This chapter gives an overview of various types of test facilities in the world and their main features in terms of experimental opportunities. It then presents typical technical equipment and sensor technologies used in laboratory environments. Finally, questions on appropriate laboratory design and experimental set-ups are discussed. One conclusion is that, in spite of many advantages, there are limits to investigating occupant behavior in a laboratory’s “artificial” environment, in part due to the fact that subjects always feel observed to some extent. However, valuable results can be achieved if the specific opportunities of laboratories are utilized both by appropriate design and precise experiments during operation.