A doctoral student at Washington State University conducted research showing that people often negate the benefits of energy efficiency design in buildings.
For example, the researcher, Julia Day, once visited an office that was designed with daylighting strategies to save on lighting energy, but found that all of the blinds were closed and numerous lights were switched on. It turned out that cabinetry and office furniture blocked many of the blind controls, reports WSU News.
Day is now an assistant professor at Kansas State University. She told WSU News that there’s a gap between energy savings technologies and the actual occupants of buildings. Even commercial buildings that are certified as high-performance in energy efficiency through Energy Star or the US Green Building Council may be getting only limited energy benefits if the occupants’ corporate culture negates the savings.