Re-imagining Energy Efficiency in Open-Plan Offices Using Micro-Zonal Occupant Centric Control: Protocols to be Considered

Jeslu Celine Jacob

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT),
Kharagpur, India
Corresponding Author:

Debapratim Pandit

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, India

Joy Sen

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, India

Cite this article

Jacob, J. C., Pandit, D., Sen, J. (2024). Re-imagining Energy Efficiency in Open-Plan Offices Using Micro-Zonal Occupant Centric Control: Protocols to be Considered. In Proceedings of Energise 2023- Lifestyle, Energy Efficiency, and Climate Action, pp 44–56, Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy.


  • Need to integrate micro-zoning, thermal zoning and spatial planning of open-plan offices
  • Protocols for micro-zoning outlined
  • Planned micro-zones save 44% of HVAC energy consumption


Air-conditioning energy consumed in buildings can be reduced by cooling only occupied regions. With modern open-plan offices being adaptable with flexible work hours, there is a need to virtually divide thermal zones based on varying thermal requirements. Micro-Zonal Occupant-Centric Control (MZOCC) saves HVAC energy by creating micro-comfort zones around occupants through independent diffuser control. However, research gaps exist between thermal zoning for HVAC design and micro-zoning. There is a lack of clarity on the method of micro-zoning and factors to be considered, such as size and shape of micro-zones. The aim of this study is to delineate protocols for micro-zoning and evaluate the benefits of planned micro-zones. Characteristics of existing Indian open-plan offices are studied, and a method for micro-zoning is delineated. Results indicate that planned micro-zoning saves 44% of energy. The micro-zonal layout acts as the starting point for optimising diffuser allocation and airflow control, which will further improve energy savings.  


Energy-Efficiency, Thermal-Zones, Micro-zones, Open-Plan Offices


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