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Human behavior meets building intelligence: how occupants respond to “open window” signals

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Systems that inform occupants about when to open and close windows (red/green lights, lighted signs) have become a popular, low-cost solution in U.S. buildings, in hopes of optimizing both comfort and energy performance. This project aims at characterizing how these systems operate in practice, and particularly whether they influence how occupants use their windows and perceive their environment. This paper takes a broad look at window signaling systems in existing buildings in the U.S.


Sixteen projects were investigated to better understand a) why and how “open windows” signals are implemented; and b) the extent to which the signals play a role in behavior.


Article for the 2012 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings.