Integrating qualitative and quantitative research to develop the final archetypes: Developing home occupant archetypes: First results of mixed-methods study to understand occupant comfort behaviours and energy use in homes

  • Marco Antonio ORTIZ SANCHEZ TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment
  • Philomena M. Bluysse TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment


To better understand home energy consumption, it is important to study the behaviours of occupants in their homes, especially in relation to their comfort needs. A mixed methods study comprising of a questionnaire, interviews, indoor environmental parameters monitoring, and energy consumption readings was performed to group home occupants based on their behavioural patterns. The TwoStep cluster analysis produced five clusters of home occupant with the data from 761 questionnaire respondents. The clustering model comprised of 28 variables including constructs of emotions, comfort affordances, and locus of control. Then, in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted and IEQ monitoring and energy readings were taken with 15 of the questionnaire respondents. The results of the field study were used to substantiate the findings of the questionnaire. The combination of the statistical clusters with the data from the field study resulted in five archetypes: five distinct types of home occupants, differing in their behavioural motivations towards achieving comfort, and their use of energy when doing so. This study shows that a mixed methods approach is valuable for better understanding energy consumption and implementing archetype-customized lines of action to reduce energy use and maintain comfort.


Abraham, C., Conner, M., Jones, F., & O’Connor, D. (2016). Health psychology: Routledge.

Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50(2), 179-211.

Aune, M., Ryghaug, M., & Godbolt, Å. L. (2011). Comfort, consciousness and costs—transitions in Norwegian energy culture 1991–2010. Proceedings of the Energy Efficiency First: The Foundation of a Low-Carbon Society, ECEEE.

Azar, E., & Menassa, C. C. (2012). A comprehensive analysis of the impact of occupancy parameters in energy simulation of office buildings. Energy and Buildings, 55, 841-853.

Barthelmes, V. M., Becchio, C., & Corgnati, S. P. (2016). Occupant behavior lifestyles in a residential nearly zero energy building: Effect on energy use and thermal comfort. Science and Technology for the Built Environment, 22(7), 960-975.

Bedir, M., & Kara, E. C. (2017). Behavioral patterns and profiles of electricity consumption in dutch dwellings. Energy and Buildings, 150, 339-352.

Belaid, F., & Garcia, T. (2016). Understanding the spectrum of residential energy-saving behaviours: French evidence using disaggregated data. Energy Economics, 57, 204-214.

Ben, H., & Steemers, K. (2018). Household archetypes and behavioural patterns in UK domestic energy use. Energy efficiency, 11(3), 761-771.

Bluyssen, P. M. (2000). EPIQR and IEQ: indoor environment quality in European apartment buildings. Energy and Buildings, 31(2), 103-110.

Bluyssen, P. M. (2014). What do we need to be able to (re)design healthy and comfortable indoor environments? Intelligent Buildings International, 6(2), 69-92. doi: 10.1080/17508975.2013.866068

Bogner, A., Littig, B., & Menz, W. (2009). Interviewing experts. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Bonnefoy, X. R., Annesi-Maesano, I., Aznar, L. M., Braubach, M., Croxford, B., Davidson, M., . . . Rudnai, P. (2004). Review of evidence on housing and health. Paper presented at the Fourth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health Budapest, Hungary.

Byrnes, D. M., Antoni, M. H., Goodkin, K., Efantis-Potter, J., Asthana, D., Simon, T., . . . Fletcher, M. A. (1998). Stressful events, pessimism, natural killer cell cytotoxicity, and cytotoxic/suppressor T cells in HIV+ black women at risk for cervical cancer. Psychosomatic medicine, 60(6), 714-722.

Claudy, M. C., Peterson, M., & O’Driscoll, A. (2013). Understanding the attitude-behavior gap for renewable energy systems using behavioral reasoning theory. Journal of Macromarketing, 33(4), 273-287.

Clevenger, C. M., Haymaker, J. R., & Jalili, M. (2013). Demonstrating the impact of the occupant on building performance. Journal of computing in civil engineering, 28(1), 99-102.

CORPORATION, U. I. (2012). IBM SPSS Modeler Text Analytics 15 User’s Guide.

Costanzo, E. S., Lutgendorf, S. K., Kohut, M. L., Nisly, N., Rozeboom, K., Spooner, S., . . . McElhaney, J. E. (2004). Mood and cytokine response to influenza virus in older adults. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 59(12), 1328-1333.

Cui, J., Goodhew, S., Fewkes, A., & Chilton, J. (2011). A discussion on the occupancy-related indoor environment and electricity use in a UK residential building. In: Proceedings of Building Simulation 2011: 12th Conference of International Building Performance Simulation Association, Sydney, Austraila, 2170-2177

D’Oca, S., Fabi, V., Corgnati, S. P., & Andersen, R. K. (2014). Effect of thermostat and window opening occupant behavior models on energy use in homes. Paper presented at the Building Simulation.

Guerra-Santin, O., Herrera, N. R., Cuerda, E., & Keyson, D. (2016). Mixed methods approach to determine occupants’ behaviour–Analysis of two case studies. Energy and Buildings, 130, 546-566

Gunay, H. B., O’Brien, W., & Beausoleil-Morrison, I. (2013). A critical review of observation studies, modeling, and simulation of adaptive occupant behaviors in offices. Building and Environment, 70, 31-47.

Haines, V., & Mitchell, V. (2014). A persona-based approach to domestic energy retrofit. Building Research & Information, 42(4), 462-476.

Hong, T., D’Oca, S., Turner, W. J., & Taylor-Lange, S. C. (2015). An ontology to represent energy-related occupant behavior in buildings. Part I: Introduction to the DNAs framework. Building and Environment, 92, 764-777.

Hong, T., Taylor-Lange, S. C., D’Oca, S., Yan, D., & Corgnati, S. P. (2016). Advances in research and applications of energy-related occupant behavior in buildings. Energy and Buildings, 116, 694-702.

Hughes, M., & Moreno, G. (2013). Further Analysis of Data from the Household Electricity Usage Study: Consumer Archetypes: Cambridge: Element Energy Ltd.

Indraganti, M., & Rao, K. D. (2010). Effect of age, gender, economic group and tenure on thermal comfort: a field study in residential buildings in hot and dry climate with seasonal variations. Energy and Buildings, 42(3), 273-281.

Itard, L., Meijer, F., Vrins, E., & Hoiting, H. (2008). Building renovation and modernisation in Europe: State of the art review, January 2008. the Netherlands: Delft Technical University, OTB.

Jia, M., Srinivasan, R. S., & Raheem, A. A. (2017). From occupancy to occupant behavior: An analytical survey of data acquisition technologies, modeling methodologies and simulation coupling mechanisms for building energy efficiency. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 68, 525-540.

Karjalainen, S. (2007). Gender differences in thermal comfort and use of thermostats in everyday thermal environments. Building and Environment, 42(4), 1594-1603.

Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., McGuire, L., Robles, T. F., & Glaser, R. (2002). Psychoneuroimmunology: psychological influences on immune function and health. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 70(3), 537.

Kollmuss, A., & Agyeman, J. (2002). Mind the gap: why do people act environmentally and what are the barriers to pro-environmental behavior? Environmental education research, 8(3), 239-260.

Lefcourt, H. M. (2014). Locus of control: Current trends in theory & research: Psychology Press.

Majcen, D., Itard, L., & Visscher, H. (2013). Actual and theoretical gas consumption in Dutch dwellings: What causes the differences? Energy Policy, 61, 460-471.

Marsland, A. L., Walsh, C., Lockwood, K., & John-Henderson, N. A. (2017). The effects of acute psychological stress on circulating and stimulated inflammatory markers: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Brain, behavior, and immunity, 64, 208-219.

McGrenere, J., & Ho, W. (2000). Affordances: Clarifying and evolving a concept. Paper presented at the Graphics interface.

Menezes, A. C., Cripps, A., Bouchlaghem, D., & Buswell, R. (2012). Predicted vs. actual energy performance of non-domestic buildings: Using post-occupancy evaluation data to reduce the performance gap. Applied Energy, 97, 355-364.

Milieucentraal. (2019). Energierekening 2019. 2019, from

Mills, B., & Schleich, J. (2012). Residential energy-efficient technology adoption, energy conservation, knowledge, and attitudes: An analysis of European countries. Energy Policy, 49, 616-628.

Motuziene, V., & Vilutiene, T. (2013). Modelling the effect of the domestic occupancy profiles on predicted energy demand of the energy efficient house. Procedia Engineering, 57, 798-807.

Munro, M., & Leather, P. (2000). Nest-building or investing in the future? Owner-occupiers’ home improvement behaviour. Policy & Politics, 28(4), 511-526.

Norušis, M. J. (2012). IBM SPSS statistics 19 statistical procedures companion: Prentice Hall.

Ortiz, M. A., & Bluyssen, P. M. (2018). Proof-of-concept of a questionnaire to understand occupants’ comfort and energy behaviours: First results on home occupant archetypes. Building and Environment, 134, 47-58.

Ortiz, M. A., Kurvers, S. R., & Bluyssen, P. M. (2017). A review of comfort, health, and energy use: understanding daily energy use and wellbeing for the development of a new approach to study comfort. Energy and Buildings, 152, 323-335.

Ortony, A., Norman, D., & Revelle, W. (2012). Affect and Proto-Affect in Effective Functioning. In J. M. Fellous & M. A. Arbib (Eds.), Who needs emotions? The brain meets the Robot (pp. 173-202): Oxford University Press.

Parsons, K. C. (2002). The effects of gender, acclimation state, the opportunity to adjust clothing and physical disability on requirements for thermal comfort. Energy and Buildings, 34(6), 593-599.

Perloff, R. M. (2010). The dynamics of persuasion: communication and attitudes in the twenty-first century: Routledge.

Poortinga, W., & Darnton, A. (2016). Segmenting for sustainability: The development of a sustainability segmentation model from a Welsh sample. Journal of environmental psychology, 45, 221-232.

Roddenberry, A., & Renk, K. (2010). Locus of control and self-efficacy: potential mediators of stress, illness, and utilization of health services in college students. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 41(4), 353-370.

Santin, O. G. (2011). Behavioural patterns and user profiles related to energy consumption for heating. Energy and Buildings, 43(10), 2662-2672.

Siddiqi, B. (2014). Survey Text Mining with IBM SPSS Text Analytics for Surveys: IBM developerWorks.

Sovacool, B. K. (2014). What are we doing here? Analyzing fifteen years of energy scholarship and proposing a social science research agenda. Energy Research & Social Science, 1, 1-29.

Sütterlin, B., Brunner, T. A., & Siegrist, M. (2011). Who puts the most energy into energy conservation? A segmentation of energy consumers based on energy-related behavioral characteristics. Energy Policy, 39(12), 8137-8152.

Tweed, C., Dixon, D., Hinton, E., & Bickerstaff, K. (2014). Thermal comfort practices in the home and their impact on energy consumption. Architectural Engineering and Design Management, 10(1-2), 1-24.

Van Raaij, W. F., & Verhallen, T. M. (1983). Patterns of residential energy behavior. Journal of economic psychology, 4(1-2), 85-106.

Veselý, M., & Zeiler, W. (2014). Personalized conditioning and its impact on thermal comfort and energy performance–A review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 34, 401-408.

Vogiatzi, C., Gemenetzi, G., Massou, L., Poulopoulos, S., Papaefthimiou, S., & Zervas, E. (2018). Energy use and saving in residential sector and occupant behavior: A case study in Athens. Energy and Buildings, 181, 1-9.

Wei, S., Jones, R., & De Wilde, P. (2014). Driving factors for occupant-controlled space heating in residential buildings. Energy and Buildings, 70, 36-44.

Wirtz, P. H., & von Känel, R. (2017). Psychological stress, inflammation, and coronary heart disease. Current cardiology reports, 19(11), 111.

Zalejska-Jonsson, A. (2012). Evaluation of low-energy and conventional residential buildings from occupants’ perspective. Building and Environment, 58, 135-144.
How to Cite
SANCHEZ, Marco Antonio ORTIZ; BLUYSSE, Philomena M.. Integrating qualitative and quantitative research to develop the final archetypes. A+BE | Architecture and the Built Environment, [S.l.], n. 5, p. 114-147, nov. 2019. ISSN 2214-7233. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 20 jan. 2021. doi: