Prediction of Office Building Electricity Demand using Artificial Neural Network by Splitting the Time Horizon for Different Occupancy Rates

Si Chen, Yaxing Ren, Daniel Friedrich, Zhibin Yu, James Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Due to the impact of occupants’ activities in buildings, the relationship between electricity demand and ambient temperature will show different trends in the long-term and short-term, which show seasonal variation and hourly variation, respectively. This makes it difficult for conventional data fitting methods to accurately predict the long-term and short-term power demand of buildings at the same time. In order to solve this problem, this paper proposes two approaches for fitting and predicting the electricity demand of office buildings. The first proposed approach splits the electricity demand data into fixed time periods, containing working hours and non-working hours, to reduce the impact of occupants’ activities. After finding the most sensitive weather variable to non-working hour electricity demand, the building baseload and occupant activities can be predicted separately. The second proposed approach uses the artificial neural network (ANN) and fuzzy logic techniques to fit the building baseload, peak load, and occupancy rate with multi-variables of weather variables. In this approach, the power demand data is split into a narrower time range as no-occupancy hours, full-occupancy hours, and fuzzy hours between them, in which the occupancy rate is varying depending on the time and weather variables. The proposed approaches are verified by the real data from the University of Glasgow as a case study. The simulation results show that, compared with the traditional ANN method, both proposed approaches have less root-mean-square-error (RMSE) in predicting electricity demand. In addition, the proposed working and non-working hour based regression approach reduces the average RMSE by 35%, while the ANN with fuzzy hours based approach reduces the average RMSE by 42%, comparing with the traditional power demand prediction method. In addition, the second proposed approach can provide more information for building energy management, including the predicted baseload, peak load, and occupancy rate, without requiring additional building parameters.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100093
JournalEnergy and AI
Early online date5 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


  • Building energy
  • Electricity demand prediction
  • Statistical modelling
  • Artificial neural network
  • Occupancy rate


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