During a month that has been identified as seasonally unoccupied (also referred to as non-operating), FEDS assumes zero occupancy, all lights are off (except exit signs), and the cooling system is shut down. Heating is operated at a reduced level generally for the purpose of preventing the pipes from freezing (temperature kept at low setpoint specified by the unoccupied season thermostat setting). General plug loads are assumed to be non-operational, as are most motors (although this may be overridden by specifying monthly motor load factors).
Unoccupied hours or day types of occupied months are those periods during which there is reduced occupancy of the building. These are referred to as low occupancy periods in FEDS. For a typical commercial facility this might occur during the night and on weekends. A small number of occupants might be present (though less than during normal operating hours), and all energy systems remain active although they may operate at reduced levels. The operation of HVAC, lighting, plug loads, and motors are all controlled by inputs such as thermostat setpoints (enabling temperature setback), ventilation control mode, and utilization/load factors.
Full 24-hour occupancy can be specified for any day type by entering the same start and end hours (except 0 and 2400). For unoccupied day types enter 0 for both start and end times (or leave them blank). Note: if you do not specify occupancy hours, they will remain blank and FEDS will model the buildings as though they are unoccupied (reduced occupancy). Shortcut buttons are available on the standard occupancy inputs screen to make specifying continuously occupied and unoccupied day types easier.
Variable occupancy is an improved approach to the seasonal occupancy option which allows users to specify that certain months are non-operating (e.g., schools may be shut down over summer break). Variable occupancy also offers greater flexibility by allowing users to specify the percent of days within specific months which follow the general occupancy and operation schedule defined in the standard occupancy inputs. One hundred percent indicates the building or use area operates all days of that type during the month according the standard schedule. Zero percent indicates the building (use area) is either non-operating (shut down) or in a low occupancy state (occupied at the low occupancy and equipment use level) for all days of that type during the month. For any value between 0% and 100%, FEDS will multiply that value by the actual number of days of that type in the month and model the resulting number of days (rounded to the nearest whole day) as operating according to the standard schedule. The remainder of the days of that type in the month will be deemed either non-operating or at low occupancy (depending on the selection of non-operating period status type). As a convention, FEDS will model the first X days in the month as occupied and operating to the standard schedule, and the remaining days of that type in the month as non-operating or at low occupancy. The variable occupancy capability provides significant modeling flexibility and is particularly useful in modeling occupancy and building operation that varies within the course of a month, such as for National Guard or Reserve buildings that may only be heavily occupied on certain weekends through much of the year.
Another option for even greater control over building and use-area operation and occupancy (for each hour of the year) is also available. Contact FEDS Support for more information if interested in using this approach.