Probabilistic Modeling of Commercial Building Occupancy Patterns Using Location-Based Map Data: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Considering occupancy patterns is crucial to simulate buildings' energy use. Current energy models use inputs that simplify the actual diversity in occupancy into static occupancy patterns and are not able to represent the numerous variations in occupancy patterns between buildings and across different locations. Recently, inferring occupancy schedules from metered electricity consumption data was used to model occupancy in commercial buildings. However, the translation from metered data to occupancy schedules requires many assumptions that might not capture the reality, and the process is hindered by the availability of data from advanced metering infrastructure. With the development of information technologies, occupancy modeling should not be limited to traditional approaches. The prevalence of social networks and location services with real-time user feedback provides publicly accessible data via Maps Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) such as Google Maps, SafeGraph, Mapbox, Foursquare, etc. This paper presents an automated framework for modeling parametric occupancy patterns using such APIs to calibrate commercial district buildings' energy models. This process includes three main steps: data extraction and processing, parametric schedules generation, and schedules integration. We demonstrated this framework in districts where we used maps API to generate more accurate behavioral patterns for operations and electric vehicle charging events. We used these patterns to determine differences in energy use across key sociodemographic and spatial parameters. The presented method has the potential for worldwide applications. Users can utilize this framework to extract data for selected locations of interest to create more realistic behavioral patterns for commercial facilities across different districts.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2022
Event2022 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings - Pacific Grove, California
Duration: 21 Aug 202226 Aug 2022


Conference2022 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings
CityPacific Grove, California

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5500-83345


  • building energy modeling
  • commercial buildings
  • district energy modeling
  • occupancy modeling
  • schedules
  • URBANopt


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