Targeting occupant feedback using digital twins: Adaptive spatial–temporal thermal preference sampling to optimize personal comfort models


Collecting intensive longitudinal thermal preference data from building occupants is emerging as an innovative means of characterizing the performance of buildings and the people who use them. These techniques have occupants giving subjective feedback using smartphones or smartwatches frequently over the course of days or weeks. The intention is that the data will be collected with high spatial and temporal diversity to best characterize a building and the occupant’s preferences. But in reality, leaving the occupant to respond in an ad-hoc or fixed interval way creates unneeded survey fatigue and redundant data. This paper outlines a scenario-based (virtual experiment) method for optimizing data sampling using a smartwatch to achieve comparable accuracy in a personal thermal preference model with fewer data. This method uses BIM-extracted spatial data and Graph Neural Network-based (GNN) modeling to find regions of similar comfort preference to identify the best scenarios for triggering the occupant to give feedback. This method is compared to two baseline scenarios that use conventional zoning and a generic 4x4 square meter grid method from two field-based datasets. The results show that the proposed Build2Vec method has an 18%–23% higher overall sampling quality than the spaces-based and square-grid-based sampling methods. The Build2Vec method also performs similar to the baselines when removing redundant occupant feedback points but with better scalability potential.

Building and Environment