FM perceptions on occupant impact and the shaping of occupant engagement practice
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Purpose This paper aims to apply frame analysis to explore the mental models by which building managers interpret the impact of building occupants on energy use and rationalize their approach to occupant engagement. Design/methodology/approach Findings from four energy-efficient buildings (two schools and two office buildings) in Norway are presented. The methodology includes individual semi-structured interviews with both operational and strategic facilities managers Findings Concepts and theoretical perspectives with the potential to shape the building managers’ perceptions include technical knowledge and expertise, management responsibilities, familiarity with occupant routines and understanding of energy-efficient technologies. No significant impact was attributed to the actions of occupants in the areas of comfort, core function and behavior. Significant impact was attributed to their movement and presence. Perceptions of impact were found to influence, yet not determine, the building managers’ choices of practice. Practical implications Factors with the potential to affect the adoption of occupant engagement initiatives were highlighted. This study pointed to the role that automation and centralization can play in influencing facilities managers to rescind from their management responsibilities. Originality/value To the knowledge of the authors, this is the first study to use framings in thoughts to investigate the process by which facilities managers rationalize occupant engagement, in relation to their perception of occupant impact on energy use.