Since it occurs. Within this line of thought came

Since the Industrial Revolution, Science, Technology and Industry succeeded at an
interesting rate, improving a social and economic growth. We all know that fulfilling the
needs for such development requires an increasingly amount of natural resources, leading
to the depletion of the planet’s resources and degradation of the natural environment.
Scientists, politicians, and society members are now taking this subject as a priority,
realizing that disregarding the current situation can put in danger its future wellbeing.
Therefore, and being evolution the crucial goal of any species, such purpose cannot be
postponed; so the solution is not stopping current growth but changing the way in which it
occurs. Within this line of thought came the concept of Sustainability.
Nowadays green building is a famous practice among most of the people who are
producing green design which should lead to environmental, economic and social
sustainability. During design, economic and environmental sustainability are well
understood despite the social sustainability is less perceived during the design and rarely
implemented in the buildings.
Implementing green buildings is believed to reduce environmental impact and provide a
healthier environment for residents. The development of green buildings has been due to
the adverse impact on the environment of conventional buildings which have contributed
to approximately 30 to 40 per cent of global energy usage. While implementation of green
buildings is required for energy reduction, the building occupants also have a role to play
in reducing energy consumption. Users of buildings impact on the energy efficiency
performance of green buildings. Green behaviors are actions that building occupants take
to reduce energy consumption in a building. Successful energy performance of green
buildings can be achieved by reducing energy consumption through changes in human
Social sustainability is how human conduct impact the environmental capital and the
challenge remain to let the future generations have access to such resources. Human
behavior in buildings can be a major influence on resource use.
These behaviors adjust the energy performance of a building by increasing its monthly and
yearly energy use and they affect the way office buildings are occupied. We can clearly
notice that over half of individual workplaces are empty even at the busiest times of day
and offices are used at most for half of their potential for only one third of their functional
availability every working day.
Ignoring the building specifications especially the ones that are easy to see, i.e. double wall,
double glazing, insulated and green roofs, and photovoltaic panels may keep designers
away from exploring the way a building performs and reflecting the energy performance
as a whole and how it is used over time by its users.
LEED is one the many methods to verify if the building is environmentally friendly, is a
green building rating system and an internationally accepted standard for the design,
construction and operation of high performance green buildings. This shows us that all the
rating systems including LEED may underestimate the role of human behavior in the
performance of green buildings and does not see the users as the center of the design.
One of the new method UCD, User centered designs is a using technique indicating on how
well users can learn and use a product to achieve their goals and how satisfied they are with
that process. If buildings do not meet users’ requests, users change their operation by their
behavior or do not use them and all the energy that is spent for their construction and
operation is wasted.
2.0. Problem Statement
All rating systems are repeating previous mistakes by creating needless complexity, which
can damage their whole purpose. Sources of occupant disappointment, to discover whether
or not green buildings are perceived as better by their users.
The Green buildings are more sustainable in design but not necessarily in reality. This
happens for several reasons. It is found for example that once the building is occupied,
residents may find it difficult to understand the control systems and operate them. This
means that maintenance and energy management may not be up to standard and some
control systems which bother the occupants may be by passed. The variables that they use
to assess users’ satisfaction are: overall comfort, temperature in summer and winter,
ventilation/air in summer and winter, lighting and noise.
There is an increasing concern on the environmental impact of the energy we consume.
However, instead of reducing energy consumption, occupants spend more energy each
year. Since 1990, world residential electricity consumption has grown at an average of
3.4% per year. Part of this growth is represented by new households that did not have
access to electricity before.
Regardless of current efforts to encourage sustainable behavior and consumers’ claims that
they are eco-minded, green attitudes remain insufficiently reflected in consumers’ choices.
This attitude-behavior gap suggests present efforts to drive environmentally friendly
behavior may be ineffective.
A major amount of academic effort is dedicated towards sustainable and energy efficient
homes. However, the relevance of users’ role does not seem to be equally reflected in
academic research production.
The researches mentioned can be seen that human behavior is a critical variable for
sustainable energy consumption in buildings. Therefore, additional steps must be
performed to change or remove the variable of human behavior to achieve sustainable
energy consumption.