Mohamed Ouf

Mohamed Ouf
Concordia University Montreal · Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering

PhD

About

52
Publications
9,501
Reads
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695
Citations

Publications

Publications (52)
Article
Occupant-centric control (OCC) strategies represent a novel approach for indoor climate control in which occupancy patterns and occupant preferences are embedded within control sequences. They aim to improve occupant comfort and energy efficiency by learning and predicting occupant behaviour (OB), then optimizing building operations accordingly. Pr...
Article
Mixed-mode ventilation is a design feature to improve building energy efficiency and indoor air quality. However, in practice, it does not always achieve better performance, largely due to inappropriate window operations. The research effort is also limited when exploring approaches to regulate manually operable windows. The present study found tha...
Conference Paper
Urban-scale energy simulation relies on the understanding of occupants’ presence in buildings and consequently in cities. Therefore, occupancy profiles (i.e., the relative number of occupants in a specific hour of the day) are usually used in the energy simulation on the city level. However, available occupancy standard profiles are incapable of co...
Article
Construction material technologies are the driving force for enhancing and improving building and infrastructure functionality. Solutions for many challenges faced by the construction industry, such as low energy efficiency and high carbon emission, had sparkled from innovative construction materials technologies. Hence, selecting adequate construc...
Article
Accurate occupancy information can help in optimizing the operation of building systems. To obtain this information, previous studies suggested using WiFi connection counts due to their strong correlation with occupancy counts. However, validating this correlation and investigating its variation have remained limited due to challenges regarding the...
Article
There is growing interest in energy mapping amongst municipal planners and policymakers to accelerate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction program implementation. Responding to this interest partly involves addressing challenges related to building stock data collection and processing. The present study, carried out in conjunction with Natural...
Article
The proliferation of smart meters, energy storage systems (ESS), and renewable energy systems (RES) creates a unique opportunity for the building sector to enhance the efficacy of demand-side energy management. The objective of this review is to capture the trends, strategies, and lessons learned from studies focused on building-to-grid interaction...
Article
Full-text available
Occupant-centric control (OCC) strategies represent a novel approach for indoor climate control in which occupancy patterns and occupant preferences are embedded within control sequences. They aim to improve both occupant comfort and energy efficiency by learning and predicting occupant behaviour, then optimizing building operations accordingly. Pr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Occupants' thermostat setpoint preferences play a vital role in HVAC systems' operation and significantly influence the building energy performance. However, despite the diversity in indoor temperature preferences, most building energy codes assume identical thermostat setpoints for buildings of the same type. To this end, this study aims to demons...
Conference Paper
Evaluating the thermal performance of the building stock using traditional methods (e.g., energy audits) can be cost prohibitive, especially if it aims to cover hundreds or thousands of buildings. This paper presents a novel data-driven approach to investigate the thermal performance of existing buildings using data collected from smart thermostats...
Article
Traditional occupant behavior modeling has been studied at the building level, and it has become an important factor in the investigation of building energy consumption. However, studies modeling occupant behaviors at the urban scale are still limited. Recent work has revealed that urban big data can enable occupant behavior modeling at the urban s...
Article
Operable windows have become desirable design features of modern mechanically ventilated office buildings in North America. While they improve perceived control and adaptive comfort, their inappropriate use poses risks associated with increased heating and cooling energy use. Therefore, the sequence of operations for terminal devices serving zones...
Article
Adapting building systems' operation to occupancy variations can provide significant energy savings, but this is typically constrained by the unavailability of occupancy information. Although several technologies have been introduced to integrate real-time occupancy information in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems operations...
Article
Occupants' behavior play the main role in the timing and magnitude of residential energy demand. However, obtaining a reliable source of data and developing representative models for these activities remain a key challenge, especially for developing energy models with high temporal resolution. In this context, the Time Use Survey (TUS) represents a...
Article
Full-text available
Current research is focused on sensing and modeling occupant behavior to predict it and automate building controls. Another line of research recommends influencing the behavior of occupants through feedback mechanisms and engagement. Yet, most of the work has focused on pushing occupants to reduce energy consumption over a long time and does not ex...
Article
Occupant-centric control (OCC) strategies rely on different algorithms to learn and predict occupants’ patterns and preferences, then utilize these predictions to optimize building operations. However, testing different OCC algorithms or fine-tuning their configurations in real buildings can be a lengthy process. To this end, we present a framework...
Article
Occupants are active participants in their built environment, affecting its performance while simultaneously being affected by its design and indoor environmental conditions. With recent advances in computer modeling, simulation tools, and analysis techniques, topics such as human-building interactions and occupant behavior have gained significant...
Article
The proliferation of urban sensing, IoT, and big data in cities provides unprecedented opportunities for a deeper understanding of occupant behaviour and energy usage patterns at the urban scale. This enables data-driven building and energy models to capture the urban dynamics, specifically the intrinsic occupant and energy use behavioural profiles...
Article
Coupling building performance simulations with mathematical optimization offers a promising solution to minimize energy use in buildings by identifying optimal design alternatives. However, uncertainties due to occupant behaviour and building operations are rarely considered in this process. To address this issue, we combined stochastic occupant be...
Article
Increasing building automation aims to replace manual controls with programmed systems to improve energy efficiency. However, limiting manual control may compromise occupant comfort. To this end, this paper presents a field study that explores the relationships between occupants’ perceived control and comfort, and their preferences for building aut...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing building automation to improve energy efficiency introduces a risk of reducing occupants’ perceived control and overall comfort. To this end, this paper presents a field study that used contextual techniques to explore the relationship between occupants’ perceived control and comfort, as well as their preferences for building automation....
Article
Recent developments in information and communication technology have sparked the notion of smart buildings; an example of which is occupant-centric control (OCC). In this approach, a control system acquires various data from occupants, the indoor environment, and outdoor climate, and learns or derives useful information for building control, e.g.,...
Article
Operator decisions regarding daily and seasonal scheduling of systems’ availability and setpoints play an important role in building performance. This paper reviews the key operational parameters of 14 office buildings in Ottawa, Canada. The results revealed that over 60% of the air handling units (AHUs) were not turned off outside of normal occupi...
Article
This final article of a three-part series on the advances of occupant modeling for building design and code compliance is focused on recommendations and future outlook. To summarize the first two parts, we argued and demonstrated that current occupant modeling approaches (particularly as mandated by the performance path of building energy codes) ar...
Article
In Part 1 in the February issue, we introduced the fundamental definitions of the next generation of occupant models and compared their characteristics to current schedule-based ones, such as those specified in ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2016. ¹ In Part 2, we show how these models can inform better design decisions, through a simulation-based example...
Article
Despite the purported benefits of occupant behavior (OB) models in simulating the effect of design factors on OB and vice versa, there are challenges associated with their use in building simulation practice due to the additional time and computational requirements. To this end, this paper presents a method to incorporate these models in building p...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper documents the findings of a workshop on occupant modelling in building performance simulation (BPS)-based design practice. Upon discussions with expert BPS users, researchers, and software developers in Canada, the current state and future needs of occupant modelling for BPS-based design were identified. These discussions identified the...
Technical Report
Executive Summary This document provides a comprehensive roadmap for the advancement towards detailed occupant modelling for building codes and standards and design practice. It is comprised of a detailed introduction and definitions, followed by the standard roadmap components. A stakeholders' workshop, which was held before the roadmap was create...
Article
Despite the research advances and demonstrated benefit of occupant modelling and simulation in recent years, its uptake in building simulation practice has been relatively slow. One of the underlying causes of this issue is limited occupant-related features of building performance simulation (BPS) tools. To this end, we present a detailed breakdown...
Article
Occupant behavior represents one of the great sources of uncertainty for predicting energy performance of new buildings. However, in many building codes, occupant-related variables are treated as a boundary condition, such that it is adequate to make the same default assumptions about occupants in the reference and proposed design cases for energy...
Article
Through building performance simulations, previous studies showed the effect of occupants on buildings’ energy consumption. To further demonstrate this effect using empirical evidence, this study analyzed the effect of occupancy on real-time electricity consumption in three case-study schools in Manitoba. Within each school, one classroom as well a...
Article
This paper presents findings of a case-study demonstrating the effectiveness of using WiFi networks to detect occupancy as opposed to CO2 sensors, commonly used for demand-controlled heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The study took place in one building at the University of Manitoba Fort Garry campus in Canada. In a classroo...
Article
Full-text available
Buildings contribute 20 to 40% of the world’s energy consumption, making the need to investigate their energy performance a necessity. Given the lack of empirical evidence on the energy performance of school buildings operating under extreme weather conditions, this study aimed to benchmark historical energy consumption over a ten-year period in a...
Article
Building performance evaluations (BPEs) were carried out for nine Canadian green buildings using a standardised assessment framework. The aim was to explore and measure the discrepancies between the operational performance of the buildings and their predicted performance, as well as to identify lessons for their owners, design teams and the constru...
Article
Previous studies indicate electricity consumption is increasing in new and green buildings highlighting the importance of investigating parameters affecting that increase. The majority of previous studies also focused on studying commercial or residential buildings emphasizing the need to study energy consumption in other building types. This study...
Article
Buildings contribute 20 to 40% of the world's energy consumption, making the need to regulate and minimize their energy use a priority. A standard protocol was developed by the University of Manitoba Construction Engineering and Management Group to evaluate energy consumption across a sample of Manitoba schools in collaboration with the Manitoba Pu...
Article
This study investigates the evolution of the microbial community in laboratory-scale soil columns simulating the infiltration zone of managed aquifer recharge (MAR) systems and analogous natural aquifer sediment ecosystems. Parallel systems were supplemented with either moderate (1.1 mg/L) or low (0.5 mg/L) biodegradable dissolved organic carbon (B...
Article
Buildings contribute 20 to 40% of the world's energy consumption, making the need to regulate and minimize their energy use a priority. Although green buildings appear to respond to this issue, there is little empirical evidence in the literature demonstrating their energy effectiveness and little consensus over their long-term energy performance....

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Document and improve the occupant modelling methods in the building performance simulation practice
Project
As building envelopes and mechanical and electrical equipment become more efficient, the impact of occupants on building energy increases. Meanwhile trends in teleworking, co-working, and home-sharing mean vastly different occupancy than the standard occupancy schedules. Finally, global expectations for comfort are increasing, while a variety of new technologies may or may not succeed in meeting this demand. The convergence of these trends has necessitated a new look at how occupants are incorporated into building design and operation practice throughout the building life-cycle. The field of occupant modelling emerged over four decades ago; however, it has surged in the past decade – particularly as a result of IEA EBC Annex 66 – “Simulation and Definition of Occupant Behaviour in Buildings”. Annex 66 played an important role in formalizing experimental research methods, modeling and model validation, and occupant simulation. Given the number of unanswered questions about occupant comfort and behaviour and minimal penetration of advanced occupant modelling into practice, this follow-up Annex 79 - “Occupant-centric building design and operation”. The IEA EBC Annex 79 term is from 2018-2023. More details here: http://annex79.iea-ebc.org/