Dr. Farrokh Jazizadeh of Virginia Tech visited the School of Civil Engineering

On November 9, 2018, Dr. Farrokh Jazizadeh of Virginia Tech visited the School of Civil Engineering, Tsinghua University, and gave a presentation titled "Human-Centered Adaptive Energy Management in Built Environment". The session was attended by Prof. Dongping Fang, Prof. Nan Li, Prof. Xiaomei Deng, and postgraduates from School of Civil Engineering of Tsinghua University, as well as Prof. Hongqin Fan, Prof. Geoffrey Shen, and their post-graduates from Hongkong Polytechnic University.

Throughout the construction lifecycle, Dr. Jazizadeh pointed out that the operation of building contributes to a comparatively higher energy consumption and carbon emission. Therefore, energy management in building operation plays an important role in energy sustainability efforts. With the goal of meeting occupant comfort and reduced building energy consumption, Dr. Jazizadeh first introduced multi-agent comfort and energy system (MACES) to model alternative management and control of building systems and occupants by using multi-objective Markov Decision Problems (MDP). MACES allows to model the actual input including thermal zones, temperature, occupant preferences, and occupant schedules, enable an improvement in occupant comfort and energy consumption reduction.

In the second part of the lecture, Dr. Jazizadeh proposed an intermediary communication plat which enables human-buildings two-way communication. He introduced an evaluation framework that integrates occupants’ personalized thermal (comfort) profiles, using a fuzzy predictive model, and controls the HVAC system using a complementary control strategy, which enables the framework to be implemented in existing centrally controlled HVAC system with minimum intrusion. In addition, Dr. Jazizadeh used a series of different sensors, combined with subjective evaluation and objective physiological indicators, to determine occupant’s comfort level. He presented a vision-based approach that employs RGB video images through webcams or smartphones to capture thermoregulation states in the human body in response to indoor thermal condition. By using photoplethysmography (PPG), the study leveraged the mechanism of blood flow control to the skin surface (blood vessels’ dilation and constriction) for heat dissipation regulations, reflected in PPG signal’s amplitude. Then, a non-linear model is established and an algorithm is developed to make efficient thermal comfort quantification for HVAC control.