Rana Abdollahi Rizi

Rana Abdollahi Rizi’s research investigates buildings envelope design considering occupants' behaviour and their comfort for building energy efficiency

 A picture of Rana Abdollahi Rizi studying at a desk.

Rana has a record of career experience in planning, developing, and implementing environmentally-friendly and sustainable architectural design solutions. She can evaluate building energy performance by simulation. Over the last ten years, she has been practising improving human comfort in buildings for building energy efficiency and has several peer-review publications and a book chapter.

Rana started a PhD, in 2021, to understand why people do what they do and how it affects comfort in buildings and energy consumption. Occupants’ behaviour plays a significant role in achieving comfortable environments within buildings.

Occupants require electricity, lighting, heating, and cooling from building systems whilst emitting body heat and occupying and moving through space. In recent decades, modern technologies have enabled buildings to control environmental factors from externalities to achieve environmentally friendly designs. However, most energy simulation studies have excluded the direct and indirect impacts of occupants’ behaviour on systems and spaces. Therefore, understanding occupants’ behaviour and their triggers of behaviours and incorporating them into comfort provisions measures will improve human satisfaction and energy efficiency in building design.

Rana’s doctoral research includes a literature review on occupants’ behaviour and triggers of their behaviour concerning façade design for improving comfort in buildings. In her thesis, there are case studies that record occupants’ behaviours in building envelope design. It then deduces how these behaviours impact the performance of building systems and develop guidelines and tools for incorporating occupants’ behaviour into multi objective energy simulations and building design.

The findings of Rana’s research will enhance policymakers, academics and practitioners’ understanding of how occupants’ behaviour impacts building energy efficiency and comfort.


Book Chapters

Moslehi, H., Abdollahi Rizi, R., Zolfaghari, A., & Ebrahimi Naghani, P. (2017). Building energy loads calculation for the design of mechanical installations in Design Builder + CFD Analysis. NoAvar publication. (In Farsi)

Journal Articles

M. Jahangiri, R. A. Rizi, and A. A. Shamsabadi, “Feasibility study on simultaneous generation of electricity and heat using renewable energies in Zarrin Shahr, Iran,” Sustainable Cities and Society, vol. 38, pp. 647–661, Apr. 2018, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scs.2018.01.043

R. A. Rizi and A. Eltaweel, “A user detective adaptive facade towards improving visual and thermal comfort,” Journal of Building Engineering, p. 101554, Jul. 2020, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jobe.2020.101554

R. A. Rizi and M. Jahangiri, “Feasibility Study of Implementing a Bio-Inspired Building Envelope for Energy Harvesting and Visual Comfort Improvement,” preprint (under review), Aug. 2021. DOI: https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-794297/v1

R. A. Rizi, “Occupants’ migration in residential buildings towards comfort and energy efficiency (case of traditional residential architecture in Iran),” Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, Mar. 2021, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10901-021-09829-w

Shafighfard, T., Bagherzadeh, F., Rizi, R. A., & Yoo, D.-Y. (2022). Data-driven compressive strength prediction of steel fiber reinforced concrete (SFRC) subjected to elevated temperatures using stacked machine learning algorithms. Journal of Materials Research and Technology, 21, 3777–3794. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmrt.2022.10.153

M. Haddadi, A. Tabadkani, and R. Abdollahi Rizi, “An integrated model-based roller shade controller to enhance visual comfort and energy efficiency in an office environment,” Journal of Building Simulation, 2023. (Minor revision)


Abdollahi Rizi, R., & Bagherzade, F. (2022). LBird, a content view calculation tool, Univentures, New Zealand


Professor Robyn Phipps and Dr Nilesh Bakshi