Building Occupant Environmental Behaviour (BOEB) model for LEED-certified buildings
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Energy consumption in most residential buildings became a critical issue that should be focused upon to move towards a green built environment and mitigate global warming. Green agencies are actively practicing in different regions of the world while hoping to achieve carbon emission reduction. Unfortunately, there is still a performance gap between as-designed and actual energy consumption after operation. Occupant behaviour accounts as one of the major reasons behind this significant uncertainty. Little is known about how the occupants of these buildings cause the performance gap. This micro-focus has therefore created a research opportunity to investigate in detail the LEED-certified building occupant environmental behaviour to gain a better understanding on how to improve their behaviour and the existing uncertainty in order to achieve potential energy savings. The findings in this research rely on data collected from four LEED-certified buildings in the UAE. The data analysis for the main research study was mix method including quantitative (survey with 203 occupants) and qualitative (interview with 10 occupants and 5 operators). After that the data was analysed using Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) technique to investigate the interrelationship among three unobserved variables which are occupant Attitude, Knowledge and Behaviour (AKB). The Building Occupant Environmental Behaviour (BOEB) model was then developed. The development of the model was based on the literature review and the best fitting structural model confirmed through SEM, together with inclusion of motivational factors found in qualitative analysis in this study. Finally, academic researchers and industry professionals in the UAE and Canada validated the developed BOEB model in order to review the applicability of, and barriers to, this model. Such model can be used by LEED policy makers, industry professionals, and governmental authorities to promote better environmentally-friendly behaviour to potentially bridge part of the existing energy performance gap.