Towards a Human Centred Approach for Adaptive Façades

An Overview of User Experiences in Work Environments





human centered design, user experience, adaptive behavior, adaptive façade, façade design, changeability, interaction


Adaptive façades are multifunctional systems that are able to change their functions, features, or behaviour over time in response to changing boundary conditions or performance requirements. As one of the significant developments in the façade industry over the last decade, the adaptive façade offers an intelligent solution that can decrease energy consumption and potentially increase users’ comfort in a building. From an engineering perspective, these advanced technologies aim to improve the overall performance of the building while generating a better indoor environment for the users, but unfortunately, investigations show that this goal is not always achieved. This is why, to bridge this performance gap, we embark on a change of perspective in façade design, from a technology-centred to a human-centred one. This research emphasizes that, with their changeability aspects, adaptive façade technologies offer unique potential, although the design of such façades requires a deeper understanding of users. With this as its focus, this paper aims to identify the factors affecting the user experience in a working environment, considering the interactions of the user with building services and façade systems from a holistic point of view, in which façade-user relationships are to be distinguished, towards the larger aim of developing a human-centred approach for adaptive façade design.

How to Cite

Koyaz, M., Prieto, A., Ünlü, A., & Knaack, U. (2022). Towards a Human Centred Approach for Adaptive Façades: An Overview of User Experiences in Work Environments. Journal of Facade Design and Engineering, 10(1), 29–54.




Abras, C., Maloney-Krichmar, D., & Preece, J. (2004). User-centred design. Bainbridge, W. Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction.

Addington, M. (2009). Contingent Behaviours. Architectural Design, 79(3), 12–17.

Aelenei, L., Aelenei, D., Romano, R., Mazzucchelli, E. S., Brzezicki, M., & Rico-Martinez, J. M. (Eds.). (2018). Case Studies – Adaptive Façade Network. In COST Action TU 1403 Adaptive Façade Network. Tu Delft Open.

Ajzen, I. (1991). The Theory of Planned Behaviour. ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR AND HUMAN DECISION PROCESSES, 50, 179–211.

Al-Obaidi, K. M., Azzam Ismail, M., Hussein, H., & Abdul Rahman, A. M. (2017). Biomimetic building skins: An adaptive approach. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 79(May), 1472–1491.

Al horr, Y., Arif, M., Katafygiotou, M., Mazroei, A., Kaushik, A., & Elsarrag, E. (2016). Impact of indoor environmental quality on occupant well-being and comfort: A review of the literature. International Journal of Sustainable Built Environment, 5(1), 1–11.

Alavi, H. S., Verma, H., Papinutto, M., & Lalanne, D. (2017). Comfort: A coordinate of user experience in interactive built environments. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (Including Subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 10515 LNCS, 247–257.

Attia, S., Garat, S., & Cools, M. (2019). Development and validation of a survey for well-being and interaction assessment by occupants in office buildings with adaptive façades. Building and Environment, 157(April), 268–276.

Attia, S. (2017). Evaluation of Adaptive Façades: The case study of Al Bahr Towers in UAE - Essay UK Free Essay Database. QScience Proceedings.çades/

Attia, S., Luna-Navarro, A., Juaristi, M., Monge-Barrio, A., Gosztonyi, S., & Al-Doughmi, Z. (2018). Post-Occupancy Evaluation for Adaptive Façades. Journal of Façade Design & Engineering Volume, 6(3), 1–9.

Bakker, L. G., Hoes-van Oeffelen, E. C. M., Loonen, R. C. G. M., & Hensen, J. L. M. (2014). User satisfaction and interaction with automated dynamic façades: A pilot study. Building and Environment, 78, 44–52.

Bluyssen, P. M. (2019). Towards an integrated analysis of the indoor environmental factors and its effects on occupants. Intelligent Buildings International, 0(0), 1–9.

Boerstra, A., Beuker, T., Loomans, M., & Hensen, J. (2012). Impact of perceived control on comfort and health in European office buildings. 10th International Conference on Healthy Buildings 2012, 1(April), 370–375.

Boerstra, A. C. (2016). Personal Control over Indoor Climate in Offices: Impact on Comfort, Health and Productivity.

Böke, J., Knaack, U., & Hemmerling, M. (2020). Automated adaptive façade functions in practice - Case studies on office buildings. Automation in Construction, 113(February), 103113.

Bordass, B., Bromley, K., & Leaman, A. (1993). User and Occupant Controls in Office Buildings. February.

Brager, G. S., Paliaga, G., & de Dear, R. (2004). Operable Windows, Personal Control, and Occupant Comfort (RP-1161). ASHRAE Transactions, 110(December 2015), 17–35.

Buso, T., Fabi, V., Andersen, R. K., & Corgnati, S. P. (2015). Occupant behaviour and robustness of building design. Building and Environment, 94, 694–703.

Capeluto, G., & Ochoa, C. E. (2017). Intelligent Envelopes for High-Performance Buildings. Springer International Publishing.

Chammas, A., Quaresma, M., & Mont’Alvão, C. (2015). A Closer Look on the User Centred Design. Procedia Manufacturing, 3(Ahfe), 5397–5404.

D’Oca, S., Corgnati, S., Pisello, A. L., & Hong, T. (2016). Introduction to an occupant behaviour motivation survey framework. Clima 2016, February.

Damodaran, L. (1996). User involvement in the systems design process- a practical guide for users. Behaviour & Information Technology, 15(6), 363–377.

Day, J. K., & Gunderson, D. E. (2015). Understanding high performance buildings: The link between occupant knowledge of passive design systems, corresponding behaviours, occupant comfort and environmental satisfaction. Building and Environment, 84, 114–124.

Delzendeh, E., Wu, S., Lee, A., & Zhou, Y. (2017). The impact of occupants’ behaviours on building energy analysis: A research review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 80(August), 1061–1071.

Deme Belafi, Z., Hong, T., & Reith, A. (2018). A critical review on questionnaire surveys in the field of energy-related occupant behaviour. Energy Efficiency, 11(8), 2157–2177.

Fabi, V., Andersen, R. V., Corgnati, S., & Olesen, B. W. (2012). Occupants’ window opening behaviour: A literature review of factors influencing occupant behaviour and models. Building and Environment, 58, 188–198.

Fanger, P. O. (1970). Thermal Comfort: Analysis and Applications in Environmental Engineering. McGraw-Hill.

Favoino, F., Loonen, R. C. G. M., Doya, M., Goia, F., Bedon, C., & Babich, F. (Eds.). (2018). Building Performance Simulation and Characterisation of Adaptive Façades – Adaptive Façade Network. In COST Action TU 1403 Adaptive Façade Network. Tu Delft Open.

Fisk, W. J. (2000). Health and Productivity Gains from Better Indoor Environments and their Relationship with Building Energy Efficiency. Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, 25(1997), 537–566.

Fountain, M., Brager, G., & De Dear, R. (1996). Expectations of indoor climate control. Energy and Buildings, 24(3), 179–182.

Frontczak, M., & Wargocki, P. (2011). Literature survey on how different factors influence human comfort in indoor environments. Building and Environment, 46(4), 922–937.

Haldi, F., & Robinson, D. (2008). On the behaviour and adaptation of office occupants. Building and Environment, 43(12), 2163–2177.

Heydarian, A., McIlvennie, C., Arpan, L., Yousefi, S., Syndicus, M., Schweiker, M., Jazizadeh, F., Rissetto, R., Pisello, A. L., Piselli, C., Berger, C., Yan, Z., & Mahdavi, A. (2020). What drives our behaviours in buildings? A review on occupant interactions with building systems from the lens of behavioural theories. Building and Environment, 179(November 2019), 106928.

Hoffman, R. R., Ford, K. M., Feltovich, A., Woods, D. D., Feltovich, P. J., & Klein, G. (2002). A Rose by Any Other Name…Would Probably Be Given an Acronym. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 17(4), 72–80.

Holopainen, R., Tuomaala, P., Hernandez, P., Häkkinen, T., Piira, K., & Piippo, J. (2014). Comfort assessment in the context of sustainable buildings: Comparison of simplified and detailed human thermal sensation methods. Building and Environment, 71, 60–70.

Hong, T., Yan, D., D’Oca, S., & Chen, C. fei. (2017). Ten questions concerning occupant behaviour in buildings: The big picture. Building and Environment, 114, 518–530.

Huizenga, C., Abbaszadeh, S., Zagreus, L., & Arens, E. (2006). Air quality and thermal comfort in office buildings: Results of a large indoor environmental quality survey. Proceeding of Healthy Buildings 2006, 3, 399–397.

Humphreys, M. A. (2005). Quantifying occupant comfort: Are combined indices of the indoor environment practicable? Building Research and Information, 33(4), 317–325. (2015). The Field Guide To Human Centred Design.

ISO 9241-210. (2010). Ergonomics of human–system interaction : Human-centred design for interactive systems.

Jia, M., Srinivasan, R. S., & Raheem, A. A. (2017). From occupancy to occupant behaviour: An analytical survey of data acquisition technologies, modeling methodologies and simulation coupling mechanisms for building energy efficiency. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 68(June 2016), 525–540.

Kaasinen, E., Kymäläinen, T., Niemelä, M., Olsson, T., Kanerva, M., & Ikonen, V. (2013). A user-centric view of intelligent environments: User expectations, user experience and user role in building intelligent environments. Computers, 2(1), 1–33.

Khalid, H. M. (2006). Embracing diversity in user needs for affective design. Applied Ergonomics, 37(4 SPEC. ISS.), 409–418.

Kim, J., & de Dear, R. (2012). Nonlinear relationships between individual IEQ factors and overall workspace satisfaction. Building and Environment, 49(1), 33–40.

Klein, T. (2013). Integral Façade Construction : Towards a new product architecture for curtain walls [TU Delft]. In Architecture and the Built Environment.

Knaack, U., Klein, T., Bilow, M., & Auer, T. (2014). Façades: Principles of Construction (2nd editio). Birkhäuser Verlag GmbH.

Kwon, M., Remøy, H., van den Dobbelsteen, A., & Knaack, U. (2019). Personal control and environmental user satisfaction in office buildings: Results of case studies in the Netherlands. Building and Environment, 179, 428–435.

Lassen, N., Josefsen, T., & Goia, F. (2021). Design and in-field testing of a multi-level system for continuous subjective occupant feedback on indoor climate. Building and Environment, 189(October 2020), 107535.

Law, E. L. C., Roto, V., Hassenzahl, M., Vermeeren, A. P. O. S., & Kort, J. (2009). Understanding, scoping and defining user experience: A survey approach. Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings, 719–728.

Lazarova-Molnar, S., & Mohamed, N. (2017). On the complexity of smart buildings occupant behaviour: Risks and opportunities. ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, Part F1309(November).

Lee, E. S., Fernandes, L. L., Coffey, B., McNeil, A., Clear, R., Webster, T., Bauman, F., Dickerhoff, D., Heinzerling, D., & Hoyt, T. (2013). A Post-Occupancy Monitored Evaluation of the Dimmable Lighting , Automated Shading , and Underfloor Air Distribution System in The New York Times Building Building Technology and.

Luna-Navarro, A., Fidler, P., Law, A., Torres, S., & Overend, M. (2021). Building Impulse Toolkit (BIT): A novel IoT system for capturing the influence of façades on occupant perception and occupant-façade interaction. Building and Environment, 193(November 2020), 107656.

Luna-Navarro, A., Loonen, R., Juaristi, M., Monge-Barrio, A., Attia, S., & Overend, M. (2020). Occupant-Façade interaction: a review and classification scheme. Building and Environment, 177, 106880.

Maguire, M. (2001). Methods to support human-centred design. International Journal of Human Computer Studies, 55(4), 587–634.

Masoso, O. T., & Grobler, L. J. (2010). The dark side of occupants’ behaviour on building energy use. Energy and Buildings, 42(2), 173–177.

Naqvi, N., Shiv, B., & Bechara, A. (2006). The Role of Emotion in Decision Making: A Cognitive Neuroscience Perspective. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15(5), 260–264.

Nicol, J. F., & Humphreys, M. A. (2002). Adaptive thermal comfort and sustainable thermal standards for buildings. Energy and Buildings, 34(6), 563–572.

Norman, D. A. (1988). The psychology of everyday things. Basic Books.

Norman, D. A. (2013). The design of everyday things. Basic Books, A Member of the Perseus Books Group All.

O’Brien, W., & Gunay, H. B. (2014). The contextual factors contributing to occupants’ adaptive comfort behaviours in offices - A review and proposed modeling framework. Building and Environment, 77, 77–87.

O’Brien, W., Wagner, A., Schweiker, M., Mahdavi, A., Day, J., Kjærgaard, M. B., Carlucci, S., Dong, B., Tahmasebi, F., Yan, D., Hong, T., Gunay, H. B., Nagy, Z., Miller, C., & Berger, C. (2020). Introducing IEA EBC annex 79: Key challenges and opportunities in the field of occupant-centric building design and operation. Building and Environment, 178(May), 106738.

Ortiz, M. A. (2019). Home Occupant Archetypes: Profiling home occupants’ comfortand energy-related behaviours with mixed methods. [TU Delft].

Ortony, A., Norman, D. A., & Revelle, W. (2005). Affect and Proto-Affect in Effective Functioning. In Who Needs Emotions (pp. 173–202).

Pee, L. G., Woon, I. M. Y., & Kankanhalli, A. (2008). Explaining non-work-related computing in the workplace: A comparison of alternative models. Information and Management, 45(2), 120–130.

Perino, M., & Serra, V. (2015). Switching from static to adaptable and dynamic building envelopes: A paradigm shift for the energy efficiency in buildings. Journal of Façade Design and Engineering, 3(2), 143–163.

Roulet, C. A., Flourentzou, F., Foradini, F., Bluyssen, P., Cox, C., & Aizlewood, C. (2006). Multicriteria analysis of health, comfort and energy efficiency in buildings. Building Research and Information, 34(5), 475–482.

Russell, R., Guerry, A. D., Balvanera, P., Gould, R. K., Basurto, X., Chan, K. M. A., Klain, S., Levine, J., & Tam, J. (2013). Humans and Nature: How Knowing and Experiencing Nature Affect Well-Being. In Ssrn.

Samani, S. A. (2015). The Impact of Personal Control over Office Workspace on Environmental Satisfaction and Performance. Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 1(3), 163–172.

Sanders, L. (2008). An evolving map of design practice and design research. ACM — Interactions, XV.6(November + December), 1–7.

Schweiker, M., Hawighorst, M., & Wagner, A. (2016). The influence of personality traits on occupant behavioural patterns. Energy and Buildings, 131, 63–75.

Stern, P. C. (1992). What Psychology Knows About Energy Conservation. American Psychologist.

Tabadkani, A., Roetzel, A., Li, H. X., & Tsangrassoulis, A. (2021). A review of occupant-centric control strategies for adaptive façades. Automation in Construction, 122(May 2020), 103464.

Triandis, H. C. (1977). Interpersonal Behaviour. Brooks/Cole Pub.Co.

van der Bijl-Brouwer, M., & Dorst, K. (2017). Advancing the strategic impact of human-centred design. Design Studies, 53, 1–23.

Verbeek, P.-P., & Slob, A. (2006). User Behaviour and Technology Development: Shaping Sustainable Relations Between Consumers and Technologies. Springer.

Verplanken, B., & Aarts, H. (1999). Habit, Attitude, and Planned Behaviour: Is Habit an Empty Construct or an Interesting Case of Goal-directed Automaticity? European Review of Social Psychology, 10(1), 101–134.

Vischer, J. C. (2007). The effects of the physical environment on job performance: Towards a theoretical model of workspace stress. Stress and Health, 23, 175–184.

Visser, F. S., Stappers, P. J., van der Lugt, R., & Sanders, E. B.-N. (2005). Contextmapping: experiences from practice. CoDesign, 1(2), 119–149.

Wagner, A. (2018). Occupant behaviour-centric building design and operation EBC Annex 79. In IEA EBC (Issue October).

Wagner, A., O’Brien, W., & Dong, B. (Eds.). (2018). Exploring Occupant Behaviour in Buildings. Springer International Publishing AG.

Wigginton, M., & Harris, J. (2002). Intelligent skins. Butterworth-Heinemann.

Yan, D., & Hong, T. (Eds.). (2018). Definition and Simulation of Occupant Behaviour in Buildings. In IEA, EBC Annex 66 Final Report (Issue May).

Yan, D., O’Brien, W., Hong, T., Feng, X., Burak Gunay, H., Tahmasebi, F., & Mahdavi, A. (2015). Occupant behaviour modeling for building performance simulation: Current state and future challenges. Energy and Buildings, 107, 264–278.

Zagreus, L., Huizenga, C., Arens, E., & Lehrer, D. (2004). Listening to the occupants: a Web-based indoor environmental quality survey. Indoor Air, 14(s8), 65–74.

Zhang, T., & Dong, H. (2008). Human-centred design: an emergent conceptual model. Include2009 Proceedings, 2008, 7.

Zhang, Y., Bai, X., Mills, F. P., & Pezzey, J. C. V. (2018). Rethinking the role of occupant behaviour in building energy performance: A review. Energy and Buildings, 172, 279–294.

Zoltowski, C. B., Oakes, W. C., & Cardella, M. E. (2012). Students’ Ways of Experiencing Human-Centred Design. Journal of Engineering Education, 101(1), 28–59.