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Are there more recent sources of building occupancy/load schedules based on measured, empirical data from real buildings?

asked 2014-09-02 10:59:25 -0500

updated 2015-11-12 14:30:16 -0500

I know that there are suggested schedules from ASHRAE, but has there been much research into how accurate those are by measuring actual usage patterns in occupied buildings?

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Hey Aaron! I just wanted to resurrect this topic. I'm wondering if you've run into any more new/good studies or reports on end use load shapes. I'm specifically looking for dis-aggregated end use load shapes for residential plug loads but am not having much luck. Cheers.

cwassmer's avatar cwassmer  ( 2016-03-30 11:05:23 -0500 )edit

Hey @cwassmer! Sorry, but I haven't come across any updates on this topic myself. Good to hear from you, and I wish you luck sir.

Aaron Boranian's avatar Aaron Boranian  ( 2016-03-30 16:36:29 -0500 )edit

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answered 2014-09-13 10:35:54 -0500

Dennis Knight's avatar

updated 2019-03-01 10:24:25 -0500

There are three primary sources for energy modeling schedules I am aware of:

  1. ASHRAE 90.1 User's Manuals (based on 90.1-1989)
  2. Commercial Reference Building Models of the National Building Stock (NREL/TP-5500-46861)
  3. The COMNET Manual.

If you are already familiar with the ASHRAE schedules you should review the the NREL Technical Report publication NREL/TP-5500-46861 "US Department of Energy Commercial Reference Building Models of the National Stock." Their schedules can be found in Appendix B of that publication. You can perform a Google search of the publication number above and go right to the document. Be sure to read the documentation in the report about the schedules. The reports authors started with the 1989 ASHRAE 90.1 User's Manual Schedules and modified them based on their knowledge and experience.

The COMNET Modeling Guidelines & Procedures Manual (MGP) can be downloaded form the following link: You will find the schedules in Appendix C in that publication. These are a great starting point and can always modified as needed for any specific building type or user specific needs. I hope this helps.

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Great answer. Can you put more links in there for the sources you mention?

Clayton Miller's avatar Clayton Miller  ( 2014-09-16 03:51:42 -0500 )edit

The COMNET link seems to no longer work.

dhollman's avatar dhollman  ( 2019-02-22 09:10:50 -0500 )edit

Try this link.

JasonGlazer's avatar JasonGlazer  ( 2019-03-01 06:45:51 -0500 )edit

@JasonGlazer thanks I edited that into the answer

dhollman's avatar dhollman  ( 2019-03-01 06:54:52 -0500 )edit

answered 2014-09-13 23:06:30 -0500

Joe Huang's avatar

updated 2014-09-16 04:03:12 -0500

From my experience, the vast majority of the schedules currently being used are based on "engineering judgement" rather than actual measured data. The only research project I'm aware of that developed usage schedules from measured data was an ASHRAE Project 1093 "Compilation of Diversity Factors and Schedules for Energy and Cooling Load Calculations" done by Texas A&M and finished in 2000.

The main takeaway I got from the project, for which I was the PMS Chair, was that the offhour lighting electricity use (50% of peak) was substantially more than assumed in the typical office schedules that were in use (15-20%).

There's so much natural variation in how buildings are operated or used that I see minor benefit to getting detailed measured schedules from one building and then use them in modeling another building. In some ways, it might be preferable to use the simpler standard schedules that are largely tied to assumed hours of operation, with one value for the on hours, another for the off hours, and then maybe a one-hour ramp up or dip at lunchtime.

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Can you find and add a links to the sources mentioned in this answer?

Clayton Miller's avatar Clayton Miller  ( 2014-09-16 03:52:20 -0500 )edit

I have the final report only on a CD. You might contact Jeff Haberl at TAMU (, the lead investigator, to see whether he has the report in a more convenient digital form. Also, I believe it's possible to get final reports from ASHRAE itself (

Joe Huang's avatar Joe Huang  ( 2014-09-17 19:09:50 -0500 )edit

I had already added the link after Clayton asked, from tamu's repository. It seems to be the final one.

Julien Marrec's avatar Julien Marrec  ( 2014-09-18 02:57:12 -0500 )edit

The TAMU link no longer goes to a specific document, just a general info page.

dhollman's avatar dhollman  ( 2019-02-22 09:11:54 -0500 )edit

The report and appendices are available as a free download for members on the ASHRAE technology portal or for sale at the ASHRAE bookstore.

JasonGlazer's avatar JasonGlazer  ( 2019-03-01 08:32:19 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2014-09-02 10:59:25 -0500

Seen: 1,734 times

Last updated: Mar 01 '19