A partnership between design firm JLL and Purdue University has found that providing easy access to lighting and thermal controls improves energy efficiency in an office environment.
In addition to studying the impact of easy-to-access controls on workplace energy consumption, researchers are also measuring how a personalized indoor environment impacts occupant comfort and productivity. One goal is to develop algorithms that can learn occupant preferences accurately and efficiently so that automated systems predict how individuals want to tailor their space for optimal comfort.
To date, the research has found a correlation between higher utilization of daylight and decreased energy consumption for participants with easy access to lighting controls. Participants reported higher levels of self-evaluated productivity in customized environments and demonstrated better performance in cognitive tests when thermal and lighting conditions were attuned to their needs.
Researchers now plan to implement a prototype of an automated, algorithmic-based control system in actual office environments.