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  • 1.
    Azizi, Shoaib
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    A multi-method assessment to support energy efficiency decisions in existing residential and academic buildings2021Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Rapid decarbonization of building stock is essential for the energy transition required to mitigate climate change and limit the global temperature rise below 1.5 °C. The decision-making for the adoption of energy efficiency measures (EEMs) is often complex and involves lasting consequences and risks. The strategy to direct and support the decision makers can significantly increase the adoption rate of EEMs in buildings. This Ph.D. project focuses on facilitating sustainability improvement in buildings by supporting the decision makers who are accountable for the consequences of adopting the EEMs. Energy efficiency improvement is decided and managed differently in various types of buildings and contexts and encounters different challenges and opportunities. Accordingly, it is required to understand the needs to select adequate strategies and to devise effective supporting interventions for energy efficiency improvement.

    The owners of single-family houses are often the occupants who are in charge of the most decisions to improve energy efficiency in their dwellings. The situation is rather different in multi-family buildings and academic buildings in which organizational management adds more complexity and the decisions affect various stakeholders. The studies in this project are based on qualitative and quantitative data collected from single-family houses, multi-family buildings, and university buildings in northern Sweden. Surveys were used to elicit the decision makers' perceptions of different types of buildings. Moreover, sensor data from university buildings were used in the case studies to develop informative metrics for space use efficiency and to analyze the effect of sensor positioning on monitored data.

    The initial work involved understanding the opportunities and challenges of improving energy efficiency in buildings and the tradeoffs between the perceived benefits and barriers. This part of the thesis provided the foundation and inspiration for the rest of the project, including investigating how to bundle several measures and use information and communication technologies (ICT) for building sustainability. The findings show lack of information and evidence that could justify the beneficial outcomes of EEMs is a major barrier for effective decision-making. Clear information on potential improvements allows sharing the responsibilities among different stakeholders and increases the management capacity to handle projects and adopt EEMs. Using feedback tools (for example, space use and/or energy use visualizations) might be an effective strategy to influence decision makers.

    Various studies incorporated in this multidisciplinary Ph.D. thesis develop and investigate strategies to support decision makers to improve energy efficiency in buildings. The findings provide insights to policymakers and businesses to devise intervention strategies for energy efficiency in buildings.

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    PhD Dissertation_Shoaib Azizi
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  • 2.
    Azizi, Shoaib
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Nair, Gireesh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Olofsson, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Adoption of Energy Efficiency Measures in Renovation of Single-Family Houses: A Comparative Approach2020In: Energies, E-ISSN 1996-1073, Vol. 13, no 22, article id 6042Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Inclusion of energy efficiency measures (EEMs) in the renovation of the single-family housing stock can unlock the potential for much-needed energy efficiency to tackle climate change. Energy renovation (ER) in single-family houses is often promoted as an aggregate process, and EEMs are treated homogenously without sufficient attention to their differences. This study applies a comparative analysis on common EEMs using chi-square test to investigate the influence of factors already found affecting the implementation of ER. This paper addresses the “personal” and “house-related” factors influencing the adoption of EEMs regardless of motives or barriers leading the adopters’ decisions. This strategy is useful to highlight the contexts leading to an increase in the adoption rate of different EEMs. The analysis is based on a questionnaire survey mailed in spring 2017 to 1550 single-family homeowners in the northern region of Sweden. Approximately 60% of respondents showed interest in adopting at least one EEM if they implement a major renovation. About 46% of respondents stated to have at least one indoor environmental problem (IEP) in their houses, and IEPs are found to have significant relations with homeowners’ interest to adopt several different EEMs. The policy implications related to different EEMs are discussed.

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  • 3.
    Azizi, Shoaib
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Nair, Gireesh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Olofsson, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Analysing the house-owners’ perceptions on benefits and barriers of energy renovation in Swedish single-family houses2019In: Energy and Buildings, ISSN 0378-7788, E-ISSN 1872-6178, Vol. 198, p. 187-196Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Single-family houses offer a large potential for energy savings by energy renovation (ER). Homeowners’ motivation to implement ER derives from the benefits and barriers they perceive. Benefits are the positive consequences that can motivate homeowners to act and barriers are the challenges that demotivate them to undertake ER. Different benefits and barriers do not homogenously affect every homeowner. Identifying motivating benefits and demotivating barriers for each specific group among homeowners can shed lights on ER decision-making and enable policies that are more effective. The objective of this study is to contextualize the implementation of ER by understanding how the perceived benefits and barriers influence homeowners. This study links the expected consequences, which are benefits and barriers to the influential factors on ER, which are used to group the homeowners.

    The analysis is based on a questionnaire survey mailed to 1550 owners of single-family houses in northern Sweden. The perceptions of homeowners on benefits and barriers of ER are significantly different between the groups that are motivated and unmotivated to implement ER. Despite the perceived importance of some of the benefits such as energy cost reduction, they may not be determinative for the homeowners’ decision to undertake ER. The homeowners are more likely to implement ER for reasons other than energy use reduction such as for improving the indoor environment. The barriers such as the difficulty of finding a low-interest loan and reliable information sources are found to impede the intention to implement ER among different groups. Policy implications to facilitate ER in single-family houses are discussed.

  • 4.
    Azizi, Shoaib
    et al.
    Umeå University.
    Nair, Gireesh
    Umeå University.
    Olofsson, Thomas
    Umeå University.
    Comparative Study of Influential Factors on Implementation of Energy Efficiency Measures in Single-Family Houses in Cold Climate2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A combination of factors, which include occupants and building related aspects, could motivate homeowners to implement energy renovation (ER). This study applies a comparative approach to assess perspectives of single-family homeowners towards different energy efficiency measures (EEMs). The aim is to unveil the factors that are effective on the residents’ attitude and decision making to implement an EEM or a set of EEMs. The analysis is based on a questionnaire survey conducted during spring 2017 among1550 owners of single-family houses in seven municipalities in northern Sweden. Approximately, 35% of respondents expressed their interest to install energy efficient household appliances and solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. The analysis suggests significant relations between the homeowners’ interest to implement thermal envelope measures and the quality of the house such as age and indoor environmental problems such as cold surfaces. The group of respondents, who reported their heating cost to be high, are more likely to be interested in implementing thermal envelope measures than other measures such as HVAC. Several socio-economic factors are found to be significantly related with homeowners’ interest to implement EEMs.

  • 5.
    Azizi, Shoaib
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Nair, Gireesh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Olofsson, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Demand-controlled energy systems in commercial and institutional buildings: a review of methods and potentials2019In: eceee 2019 Summer Study on energy efficiency:: Is efficient sufficient?, European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ECEEE), 2019, p. 1444-1450Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) are by farthe most energy intensive systems in commercial and institutionalbuildings with office spaces. This makes HVAC systemsattractive targets for energy efficiency improvement. New technologicaladvancements can play significant role on improvingenergy efficiency. Such advancements have been also emergedin form of novel management and control strategies, whichmight lead to considerable energy savings with relatively minorinvestments. This paper evaluates demand control HVAC andlighting to assess the energy saving potential of upgrading theconventional building energy systems.

    This paper provides a summary of different methods and occupancydetection technologies. A range of technologies andmethods are covered that vary in complexity, limitations andenergy saving potential. Additional benefits such as demandresponse are evaluated and other emerging applications arediscussed. Based on the review of methods and potentials, thepaper assesses the state of the art in demand controlled energysystems and suggests areas for further research.

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  • 6.
    Azizi, Shoaib
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Nair, Gireesh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Rabiee, Ramtin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Olofsson, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Application of Internet of Things in academic buildings for space use efficiency using occupancy and booking data2020In: Building and Environment, ISSN 0360-1323, E-ISSN 1873-684X, Vol. 186, article id 107355Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Environmental sustainability in academic buildings can be improved with management interventions such as improving space use efficiency supported by large data from the Internet of Things (IoT). Due to the potentials, the interest in the use of IoT tools for facility management is high among universities. However, empirical studies on this topic are scarce. To address the knowledge gap in this area, this study proposes and examines a process model with steps to measure space use and to improve space use efficiency by IoT tools in academic buildings. The applicability of the model is investigated in 8 lecture halls in a university building by using occupancy and booking data from IoT tools. Four space use indicators are developed to visualize the data and quantify space use, and based on them, the strategies and interventions for space use efficiency are proposed and discussed.

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  • 7.
    Azizi, Shoaib
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Rabiee, Ramtin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Nair, Gireesh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Olofsson, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Application of occupancy and booking information to optimize space and energy use in higher education institutions2020In: E3S Web of Conferences, E-ISSN 2267-1242, Vol. 172, article id 25010Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Building in higher education institutions (HEIs) are characterized as energy intensive Experience from practice showing large discrepancies between predicted and actual energy performance. The deviation can sometimes reach 100%. Explanations often originate from occupant’s behaviour along with building operation. IoT-based smart tools can provide extensive information about building usage to improve the building management, often associates with opportunities, for significant energy saving. The analysis in this study investigate space use based on occupancy and booking information in eight different lecture rooms at Umeå University. The results suggest interventions for significant saving potentials, such as modification of access permission and closing down redundant lecture rooms.

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  • 8.
    Azizi, Shoaib
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Rabiee, Ramtin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Nair, Gireesh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Olofsson, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Effect of the positioning of multi-sensor devices on occupancy and indoor environmental monitoring in single-occupant officesManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 9.
    Azizi, Shoaib
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Rabiee, Ramtin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Nair, Gireesh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Olofsson, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Effects of Positioning of Multi-Sensor Devices on Occupancy and Indoor Environmental Monitoring in Single-Occupant Offices2021In: Energies, E-ISSN 1996-1073, Vol. 14, no 19, article id 6296Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The advancements in sensor and communication technologies drive the rapid developments in the applications of occupancy and indoor environmental monitoring in buildings. Currently, the installation standards for sensors are scarce and the recommendations for sensor positionings are very general. However, inadequate sensor positioning might diminish the reliability of sensor data, which could have serious impacts on the intended applications such as the performance of demand-controlled HVAC systems and their energy use. Thus, there is a need to understand how sensor positioning may affect the sensor data, specifically when using multi-sensor devices in which several sensors are being bundled together. This study is based on the data collected from 18 multi-sensor devices installed in three single-occupant offices (six sensors in each office). Each multi-sensor device included sensors to measure passive infrared (PIR) radiation, temperature, CO2, humidity, and illuminance. The results show that the positions of PIR and CO2 sensors significantly affect the reliability of occupancy detection. The typical approach of positioning the sensors on the ceiling, in the middle of offices, may lead to relatively unreliable data. In this case, the PIR sensor in that position has only 60% accuracy of presence detection. Installing the sensors under office desks could increase the accuracy of presence detection to 84%. These two sensor positions are highlighted in sensor fusion analysis as they could reach the highest accuracy compared to other pairs of PIR sensors. Moreover, sensor positioning can affect various indoor environmental parameters, especially temperature and illuminance measurements.

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  • 10.
    Nair, Gireesh
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Azizi, Shoaib
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Olofsson, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    A management perspective on energy efficient renovations in Swedish multi-family buildings2017In: Energy Procedia, ISSN 1876-6102, Vol. 132, p. 994-999Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sweden has around 2.5 million dwellings in multi-family buildings, which constitute about 55% of the total dwelling units. The multi-family building ownership in Sweden can be categorized into municipal, private and co-operative ownership. Approximately 40% of apartments in multi-family buildings belong to municipal housing companies, while the rest is equally shared by private companies and co-operative housing associations. These organizations have different priorities, limitations and concerns related to energy renovations. Accordingly, in this sector the decisions to invest in energy efficiency improvement depends to a large extent on the type of ownership.

    In this study we analyzed the perspectives of different types of building ownership on energy efficient renovation. The analysis is based on detailed interviews of 4 senior managers representing the multi-family buildings under different ownership categories. Along with this we also interviewed a municipality energy adviser. All the interviewees are based in in North Sweden. The drivers to facilitate the rate of adoption of energy renovation in such buildings are discussed.

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  • 11.
    Nair, Gireesh
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Azizi, Shoaib
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Olofsson, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    A multi-stakeholder perspective on opportunities and challenges for energy efficiency improvement in university buildings2021In: E3S Web of Conferences, EDP Sciences, 2021, article id 05006Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    University buildings are relatively energy-intensive. In Sweden, universities usually operate in rented buildings. In this study, interviews were carried out among three categories of stakeholders in a Swedish university to understand their perceptions of energy use and challenges to improve energy efficiency. As per most interviewees, the university's top management and Akademiska Hus, which owns the buildings, have the main responsibility to reduce the buildings' energy and carbon footprint. The heads of departments raised the concern on the non-availability of energy data to take actions to reduce energy use. The use of sensors and information technologies to monitor space use, energy use, and indoor environment are attractive to different stakeholders. The implications of the interview results are discussed.

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  • 12.
    Nair, Gireesh
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Olofsson, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Azizi, Shoaib
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Role of Online Information Sources in Energy Efficient Renovations: Perspectives of House Owners in Finland and Sweden2021In: BEHAVE 2020-2021: the 6th European Conference on Behaviour Change for Energy Efficiency: Conference proceedings / [ed] Xianli Zhu and Gabriela Prata Dias, Copenhagen: Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency , 2021, p. 160-162Conference paper (Refereed)
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  • 13.
    Penaka, Santhan Reddy
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Feng, Kailun
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Rebbling, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Azizi, Shoaib
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Lu, Weizhuo
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Olofsson, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    A data-driven framework for building energy benchmarking and renovation decision-making support in Sweden2023In: SBE23-Thessaloniki: Sustainable built environments: Paving the way for achieving the targets of 2030 and beyond, Institute of Physics (IOP), 2023, article id 012005Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In Europe, the buildings sector is responsible for 40% of energy use and more than 30% of buildings are older than 50 years. Due to ageing, a large number of houses require energy-efficient renovation to meet building energy performance standards and the national energy efficiency target. Although Swedish house owners are willing to improve energy efficiency, there is a need for a dedicated platform providing decision-making knowledge for house owners to benchmark their buildings. This paper proposes a data-driven framework for building energy renovation benchmarking as part of an energy advisory service development for the Vasterbotten region, Sweden. This benchmark model facilitates regional homeowners to benchmark their building energy performance relative to the national target and similar neighbourhood buildings. Specifically, based on user input data such as energy use, location, construction year, floor area, etc., this model benchmarks the user's building performance using two benchmark references i.e., 1) Sweden's target to reduce buildings by 50% energy use intensity (EUI) by 50% by 2050 compared to the average EUI in 1995, 2) comparing user building with the most relevant peer group of buildings, using energy performance certificates (EPC) big data. Several building groups will be classified based on influential factors that affect building energy use. Hence, this benchmark provides decision-making supportive knowledge to homeowners e.g., whether they need to perform an energy-efficient renovation. In the future, this methodology will be extended and implemented in the digital platform to provide helpful insights to decide on suitable EEMs. This work is an integral part of project AURORAL aims to deliver an interoperable, open, and integrated digital platform, demonstrated by cross-domain applications through large-scale pilots in 8 regions in Europe, including Vasterbotten.

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