Simona D'Oca

Simona D'Oca
Huygens Engineers & Consultants

PhD, Architect

About

55
Publications
28,766
Reads
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3,081
Citations
Citations since 2016
35 Research Items
2993 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
Introduction
PhD in Technology Innovation for the Built Environment from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Politecnico di Torino. As an architect, Simona strongly believes in the impact of human factors on the saving potential of smart and sustainable building and communities. As a researcher project leader she developes expertise in data mining, building energy simulations, ICT-based feedback behavioral programs and familiarity with user-centered cognitive aspects of consumer energy behavior.
Additional affiliations
July 2016 - July 2017
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Position
  • PostDoc Position
January 2014 - present
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Position
  • Visiting PhD Student
September 2012 - July 2016
Politecnico di Torino
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (55)
Article
Full-text available
Energy communities organise collective and citizen-driven energy actions that will help pave the way for a clean energy transition, while moving citizens to the forefront. The energy market is rapidly transforming and so is the role of the consumer. Yesterday’s passive consumers become central actors in today’s energy markets. Today, as prosumers,...
Article
Indoor environmental quality, socio-psychological aspects, as well as contextual and personal factors, can be considered as multi-domain drivers for occupant behaviour (OB). Therefore, this study relies on a survey that bridges the gap between building physics and social psychology to implement an interdisciplinary framework into OB research. A cas...
Article
Full-text available
In the current implementation of EPC-s, the assessment focus is purely on the energy consumption data. For the next generation of EPC-s, new performance indicators are proposed to address relevant building performance aspects, such as sustainability, productivity and market value. These indicators would enable evidence-based decision-making process...
Article
Full-text available
In the TripleA-reno project, a new combined labelling scheme was developed for dwellings. The combined labelling includes the evaluation of the energy performance, indoor environmental quality and well-being of occupants in dwellings. In this paper, the method of the TripleA-reno combined labelling scheme, the necessary calculations and measurement...
Article
This study evaluates subjective aspects related to the control of building systems (HVAC thermostat, windows, lights, and shades/blinds) in offices. The evaluation is based on a new interdisciplinary framework that combines insights from building physics and social science theories, synthesised in a novel survey. A case study in Florianópolis, sout...
Article
In light of recent research, it is evident that occupants are playing an increasingly important role in building energy performance. Despite the important role of building energy codes and standards in design, the occupant-related aspects are typically simple and have not kept up with the leading research. This paper reviews 23 regions’ building en...
Article
In light of recent research, it is evident that occupants are playing an increasingly important role in building energy performance. Despite the important role of building energy codes and standards in design, the occupant-related aspects are typically simple and have not kept up with the leading research. This paper reviews 23 regions’ building en...
Article
This study investigates human-building interaction in office spaces across multiple countries including Brazil, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, the United States, and Taiwan. We analyze social-psychological, contextual, and demographic factors to explain crosscountry differences in adaptive thermal actions (i.e. cooling and heating behaviors) and confo...
Article
Different stakeholders are involved in the energy consumption in buildings: occupants, designers, managers, operators, policymakers, technology developers and vendors. Therefore, it is necessary to understand their opinions and needs to optimise the energy consumption in buildings during their lifespan. Questionnaires and interviews have been appli...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A prevailing perception within the research field of energy and buildings is that buildings-and not people-consume energy. Researchers and practitioners often neglect the important effect of the actual behaviour of people living or working in buildings, together with the values, habits, motivation factors, and other practices connected to the energ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents the outcomes of a survey questionnaire deployed in the buildings of the Faculty of Economics (FE) and Faculty of Arts (FA) of the University of Ljubljana (UL), Slovenia, in a cross-cultural comparison of previous results gathered in three analogous university buildings in Italy. Objective of this study, which was in the Slovenia...
Article
The human dimension plays an essential role in the energy performance of buildings and is considered as significant as technological advances. Several studies highlighted the negative influence of occupant behaviour in underperforming buildings, while some support that technological innovations may reduce human-related uncertainties. Thus, one may...
Article
Full-text available
In this workshop, we discussed the exploitation experiences gathered in some relevant H2020 projects on deep renovation: TripleA-reno, ProGETonE, P2Endure, 4rinEU, STUNNING, and TURNkey Retrofit. Directives and practical insights that support the experimentation with exploitation strategies in EU-funded projects will be elaborated as outcome of the...
Conference Paper
Raising awareness among building occupants on how their behavior, comfort criteria settings, and lifestyles affect building energy use has become a central topic of innovative energy efficiency strategies. Indeed, reaching European energy efficiency goals does not only require the optimization of building design and features, but also necessitates...
Article
It is widely understood that occupants can have a significant impact on building performance. Accordingly, the field has benefited extensively from research efforts in the past decade. However, the methods and terminology involved in modelling occupants in buildings remains fragmented across a large number of studies. This fragmentation represents...
Article
Full-text available
A prevailing perception within the research field of energy and buildings is that buildings – and not people – consume energy. Researchers and practitioners often neglect the important effect of the actual behaviour of people living or working in buildings, together with the values, habits, motivation factors, and other practices connected to the e...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents the outcomes of a survey questionnaire deployed in the buildings of the Faculty of Economics (FE) and Faculty of Arts (FA) of the University of Ljubljana (UL), Slovenia, in a cross-cultural comparison of previous results gathered in three analogous university buildings in Italy. Objective of this study, which was in the Slovenia...
Article
Full-text available
With a low rate of new building construction and an insufficient rate of existing building renovation, there is the need to step up the pace of building renovation with ambitious performance targets to achieve European Union (EU) climate change policies for 2050. However, innovative technologies, including, but not limiting to, plug and play (PnP)...
Article
This paper bases its considerations from the refusal of the prevailing perception that buildings consume energy, and assumes, on the contrary, that it is actually people, that consume energy for their comfort. This means that it is necessary to identify the end users’ behaviour, actions and habits in relation to the use of energy and their way to m...
Preprint
With a low rate of new building construction and insufficient rate of existing building renovation, there is the need for stepping up the pace of building renovation with ambitious performance targets to achieve EU climate change policies. However, effective technologies alone cannot solve the low renovation rate of existing buildings in Europe tha...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
With a low rate of new building construction and insufficient rate of existing building renovation, there is the need for stepping up the pace of building renovation with ambitious performance targets to achieve EU climate change policies. However, effective technologies alone cannot solve the low renovation rate of existing buildings in Europe tha...
Article
This study presents results from an interdisciplinary survey assessing contextual and behavioral factors driving occupants’ interaction with building and systems in offices located across three different Mediterranean climates in Turin (Northern), Perugia (Central), and Rende (Southern) Italy. The survey instrument is grounded in an interdisciplina...
Chapter
Full-text available
The role of building occupants in energy-savings opportunities is attracting the attention of professionals and scientists with the purpose of developing innovative and effective strategies for energy efficiency in buildings. People’s awareness about energy consumption, and the “green” attitudes of building occupants, have been acknowledged to be r...
Article
Full-text available
This paper attempts to alter a prevailing assumption that buildings use energy to an understanding that in fact, people use energy. Therefore, to successfully accelerate the transition to a low-carbon society and economy more emphasis should be on motivating people and increasing their awareness by making them energy conscious building users and th...
Article
Full-text available
More than 30% of the total primary energy in the world is consumed in buildings. It is crucial to reduce building energy consumption in order to preserve energy resources and mitigate global climate change. Building performance simulations have been widely used for the estimation and optimization of building performance, providing reference values...
Article
This study introduces an interdisciplinary framework for investigating building-user interaction in office spaces. The framework is a synthesis of theories from building physics and social psychology including social cognitive theory, the theory of planned behavior, and the drivers-needs-actions-systems ontology for energy-related behaviors. The go...
Article
The “human dimensions” of energy use in buildings refer to the energy-related behaviors of key stakeholders that affect energy use over the building life cycle. Stakeholders include building designers, operators, managers, engineers, occupants, industry, vendors, and policymakers, who directly or indirectly influence the acts of designing, construc...
Article
Full-text available
Occupant behavior (OB) in buildings is a leading factor influencing energy use in buildings. Quantifying this influence requires the integration of OB models with building performance simulation (BPS). This study reviews approaches to representing and implementing OB models in today’s popular BPS programs, and discusses weaknesses and strengths of...
Article
Occupant behavior has significant impacts on building energy performance and occupant comfort. However, occupant behavior is not well understood and is often oversimplified in the building life cycle, due to its stochastic, diverse, complex, and interdisciplinary nature. The use of simplified methods or tools to quantify the impacts of occupant beh...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we present a reinforcement learning framework to improve energy efficiency of domestic hot water provision using air source heat pumps. Simulations carried out using data from 40 houses shows 10–15% energy reduction, depending on occupant behavior. In absolute terms, this accounts to an energy reduction of about 150 kWh/a per house....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
An increasing body of research is underlying the need to foster energy behaviors and interaction with technology as a way to achieve energy savings in office buildings. However, engaging office users into more " forgiving " comfort-adaptive behavior is not a trivial task, since neither consequences nor benefits for changing behavior have visible or...
Article
Full-text available
Occupant behavior is one of the major factors influencing building energy consumption and contributing to uncertainty in building energy use prediction and simulation. Currently the understanding of occupant behavior is insufficient both in building design, operation and retrofit, leading to incorrect simplifications in modeling and analysis. This...
Article
Energy-related occupant behavior in buildings is difficult to define and quantify, yet critical to our understanding of total building energy consumption. Part I of this two-part paper introduced the DNAS (Drivers, Needs, Actions and Systems) framework, to standardize the description of energy-related occupant behavior in buildings. Part II of this...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The selection of modelling and simulation methodologies plays an unprecedented role over the predictive accuracy of the data-driven occupant behaviour and presence models. In this study, different modelling and simulation formalisms emerging from the literature were introduced to represent occupant's presence and lighting use in building performanc...
Article
Reducing energy consumption in the buildings sector requires significant changes, but technology alone may fail to guarantee efficient energy performance. Human behavior plays a pivotal role in building design, operation, management and retrofit, and is a crucial positive factor for improving the indoor environment, while reducing the energy use at...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In order to meet EU 2020 energy efficiency aggressive goals, there is a need to scale up the achievement of real energy consumption savings of current high performing building to the urban level. However, current low-energy, zero carbon, and net zero energy buildings are not performing as designed. Within the building sector industry there is an in...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The contribution of households’ electricity pattern loads into demand response logics is nowadays a crucial issue. However, one of the specific challenge is to increase the use of energy management technologies, as well as the market deployment of real time optimization of energy demand response intelligent building automation systems, balancing en...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Literature studies confirm occupant behavior is setting the direction for contemporary researches aiming to bridge the gap between predicted and actual energy performance of sustainable buildings. Using the Knowledge Discovery in Database (KDD) methodology, two data mining learning processes are proposed to extrapolate office occupancy and windows’...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The use of lighting and appliances influences buildings energy performance by affecting electricity and thermal loads. Nevertheless, their use is often predicted by arbitrary assumptions during the design phase. The paper focuses on the realistic description of domestic equipment use and its impact on the prediction of energy consumption in homes....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Occupant behavior is stochastic, complex, and multi-disciplinary. Studies have shown significant impact of occupant behavior on energy use and environmental performance of both residential and commercial buildings. The understanding of the relationship between occupant behavior and building energy consumption can be seen as one of the most effectiv...
Article
Full-text available
Existing dynamic energy simulation tools exceed the static dimension of the simplified methods through a better and more accurate prediction of energy use; however, their ability to predict real energy consumption is undermined by a weak representation of human interactions with the control of the indoor environment. The traditional approach to bui...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Goal of the research is to assess evaluations of the innovative smart monitoring system Energy@home for domestic electricity consumption. Aim of the Energy@home system is to provide householders with a persuasive tool that allows to manage energy consumption more efficiently. A combination of persuasive communication strategies such as graphical re...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Goal of the research is to assess evaluations of the innovative smart monitoring system Energy@home for domestic electricity consumption. Aim of the Energy@home system is to provide householders with a persuasive tool that allows to manage energy consumption more efficiently. A combination of persuasive communication strategies such as graphical re...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The current trend in reduction of energy use in buildings is oriented towards sustainable measures and techniques aimed to energy need restraint. Even so, studies have underlined large differences in energy consumption in similar buildings, suggesting strong influence of occupant behaviour. Variability due to occupants’ interactions within building...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Green buildings are now at the forefront of building research and climate change mitigation scenarios. The successful delivery of green buildings requires balancing energy and resource efficiency while providing a comfortable and healthy environment. Since the success of a high-performance building (HPB) depends on how it is designed, built, and ma...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Energy building simulations are key tools to be used in each design phase of the building . Actually, the ability of building energy simulation programs to evaluate real energy use is undermined by a poor representation of the stochastic variables entering the calculation: among these, the ones relate human interactions with the control of the indo...

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Projects

Projects (6)
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/
Project
A critically important new technology for saving energy in buildings is an integrated set of sensors and control devices, supported by self-configuration, fault detection and diagnostics, systems optimization and data analytics capabilities. We therefore propose the development, implementation and demonstration of a hierarchical, occupancy-responsive model predictive control framework that optimizes the operation of buildings and campuses by controlling lighting levels, ventilation, heating and air conditioning operation, indoor air temperature and humidity, indoor environmental quality, window opening, and shading devices. The outcome will be building and district energy systems that optimize their operation across end-uses, learn about the energy system dynamics and user’s comfort preferences and inform the building occupants and operator about how to reduce energy consumption. This will be accomplished while taking into account anticipated weather, occupancy, price signals from the electrical grid or district heating/cooling networks and active and passive measures to store energy and reduce peak loads. Hybrid models that capture the major physical phenomena, combined with machine learning methods, will be used to reduce the configuration and commissioning costs of such systems to a level that allows deployment at scale. Our implementation and full-scale demonstration will be based on open standards and protocols in a robust, distributed semi-autonomous fashion that leverages data from, and coordinates activities with, other peer and enterprise systems, thereby allowing new companies to plug in their technology and enhance system capabilities and performance. The proposed occupancy responsive MPC technology seamlessly integrates building technologies, controls and human behavior, which is strongly needed for zero-net-energy buildings. This is a project funded under the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC) on Building Energy Efficiency.