The people who use Federal buildings — Federal employees, operations and maintenance staff, and the general public — can significantly impact a building’s environmental performance and the consumption of energy, water, and materials. Many factors influence building occupants’ use of resources (use behaviors) including work process requirements, ability to fulfill agency missions, new and possibly unfamiliar high-efficiency/high-performance building technologies; a lack of understanding, education, and training; inaccessible information or ineffective feedback mechanisms; and cultural norms and institutional rules and requirements, among others. While many strategies have been used to introduce new occupant use behaviors that promote sustainability and reduced resource consumption, few have been verified in the scientific literature or have properly documented case study results. This paper documents validated strategies that have been shown to encourage new use behaviors that can result in significant, persistent, and measureable reductions in resource consumption. From the peer-reviewed literature, the paper identifies relevant strategies for Federal facilities and commercial buildings that focus on the individual, groups of individuals (e.g., work groups), and institutions — their policies, requirements, and culture. The paper documents methods with evidence of success in changing use behaviors and enabling occupants to effectively interact with new technologies/designs. It also provides a case study of the strategies used at a Federal facility — Fort Carson, Colorado. The paper documents gaps in the current literature and approaches, and provides topics for future research.
Revised: May 23, 2014 |
Published: April 1, 2014
Wolfe A.K., E.L. Malone, J.H. Heerwagen, and J.P. Dion. 2014.Behavioral Change and Building Performance: Strategies for Significant, Persistent, and Measurable Institutional Change.PNNL-23264. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.