Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Masters of Science (Research)



First Advisor

Dr Garrett O'Sullivan


The growing concern by building designers, owners and operators of the unregulated energy loads in their buildings is pushing research globally to address this issue. The term “unregulated” energy loads refers to a building’s energy demands outside of the “regulated” heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and lighting loads (Whyte, J. and Gann, D.M., 2001). These unregulated energy loads are primarily produced by the equipment and activities of those who work in the building, as opposed to the energy that maintains basic building comfort. Energy research is continually compounding the urgent need to craft innovative design strategies, and sustainable feedback loops to assist in the quest in achieving optimum balance between human and environmental ingredients. Fundamental to achieving this synergistic balance is a two-fold equation. In the first instance, the design of the building is paramount. This provides a vehicle which can be programmed and monitored. Secondly, behavioural use patterns and the interface between the user and the building are pivotal. Appreciating the defined and somewhat under researched significance of the user/building interface, this research aims to investigate post-occupancy energy usage in low energy building context. In executing this empirical research, and by application of post-occupancy evaluation within the case study, the methodological framework first explores unregulated operational energy usage patterns. This is evaluated by metering electrical use at building level, floor level, room level and ultimately, at plug level. By monitoring the loads attributed to individual office equipment and appliances as well as lighting, the energy use patterns can be scrutinised directly to provide high use areas and equipment, and individual usage patterns. Having established a ‘real world’ perspective and delimited the responsive behavioural parameters, the research assesses the buildings’ design and delivery process - a process that is often idiographic in its nature.

Access Level


Included in

Architecture Commons