John L. Tishman Distinguished Lecture

Start Date: 
Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm

GM Conference Room in Lurie Engineering Center

Reception to Follow

John E. Taylor

Title: Energy Efficiency Dynamics at the Intersection between Human and Engineered Networks

Recent reports by the National Academies have encouraged investment in developing a more
comprehensive understanding of network dynamics at the intersection between human and engineered
networks to address important societal problems. Networks are the structures on which dynamic system
behavior unfolds. Network dynamics involves understanding superimposed diffusion processes through
different organizational, social and technological network structures. This presentation will introduce a
civil engineering network dynamics research paradigm and will present research on the impact of building
occupant network dynamics on energy consumption in buildings. Monitoring and reporting of building
energy use has been shown to influence building occupant energy utilization. Although sharing of energy
utilization between buildings and building occupants with the goal of influencing energy use has received
attention from industry, there is a dearth of experimental research to assess the behavioral impact of
providing building occupants with personal and network contextualized electricity utilization data. The
results of several experiments on building occupant energy conservation in commercial and residential
buildings will presented, as well as efforts to develop simulation models of interactions within and between
human and engineered networks and their impact on building energy consumption. Observed responserelapse
patterns of electricity consumption in eco-feedback experiments raise important questions about
the sustainability of energy conservation and monitoring efforts. Implications of these findings will be
discussed as well as future research opportunities to exploit building and occupant networks to achieve
sustained energy conservation in and across buildings.

Dr. John E. Taylor is currently a Dean’s Faculty Fellow and Professor in the Charles E. Via, Jr. Department
of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech. He also serves as the Associate Director for
Research in the Myers-Lawson School of Construction where is a Preston and Catharine White Fellow.
Prof. Taylor received his PhD in 2006 from Stanford University on innovation in architecture, engineering
and construction industry networks. Prof. Taylor is Director of the Civil Engineering Network Dynamics Lab
at Virginia Tech which, to date, has focused on industrial and societal dynamics associated with information
system integration, industry globalization, workforce virtualization, energy conservation in buildings, and
human mobility during natural disasters.

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