Analyzing occupants' control over lighting systems in office settings using immersive virtual environments

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2023-06-30
Date
2021-06
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Source Title
Building and Environment
Print ISSN
0360-1323
Electronic ISSN
1873-684X
Publisher
Elsevier BV
Volume
196
Issue
Pages
107823-1 - 107823-15
Language
English
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Abstract

Research has identified occupant behavior as one of the key contributors to building energy performance gap. Thus, this study systematically analyzed the impact of having personal control over lighting system on occupants' lighting choices, lighting satisfaction, and task performance in a virtual office setting. For this purpose, 30 participants took part in a 3-phased experiment with immersive virtual environments (IVEs). Each phase of the experiment offered a different degree of control over the lighting. Personality traits were also studied in relation to lighting choices. Finally, a technology acceptance model (TAM) was employed to further investigate the participants’ attitude towards the virtual reality (VR) technology.

The findings of this study showed that using an interactive lighting system, which was as satisfactory compared to a conventional lighting system, encouraged the participants to use more natural light. The interactive lighting system imposed the same amount of cognitive load on the participants for performing a reading task as a conventional lighting system, which was significantly lower than their cognitive load scores for performing the task with automated lighting system. Personality analyses demonstrated that the participants with a high score on openness had a wide range of lighting choices either with conventional or with interactive lighting. This study's results differed from the previous studies by highlighting that the participants considered VR as a better fit to an enjoyable experience rather than a useful tool for performing serious tasks.

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