A reduced energy footprint is the most cited element of sustainable buildings, and energy final use is increasingly considered a crucial element of the economic costs and environmental impacts, since the occupants’ behavior influences approximately half of the total amount of energy used in buildings. Occupants’ behavior is affected by more factors: politics and rules imposed by public administrators and legislators; culture, local habits, social conditioning, and lifestyles; capability to control building energy systems. In front of the pressing necessity of lifestyles and approaches compatible with optimal resources consumption, a crucial issue is the ability to observe, track and comprehend occupant's individual and collective actual behaviors to reach its indoor environmental well-being. Indeed, also in the light of the recent adaptive approach, comfort and particu-larly Indoor Environmental Quality, which is also safety from the point of view of in-door air quality, cannot be seen as a steady state, varying from person to person, and from time to time, but like a goal occupants try to reach when their physiological and psychological state is altered, reacting in different ways for restoring their wellbeing. This today crucial approach is however difficult to apply in design terms, because energy optimization and life cycle of buildings involve variability and unpredictability of the human being when interacts with technical, environmental and social systems, that be-came more and more interconnected and complex. The paper explores potentialities and applications of Ergonomics/Human Factors (HF/E) discipline in giving methodological approach and operational tools for the observation and effective design of humans-systems-environment interactions for building energy sustainability.
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