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Enhancing the detection performance of a vision-based window opening detector

Tien, Paige Wenbin; Wei, Shuangyu; Calautit, John; Darkwa, Jo; Wood, Christopher

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Paige Wenbin Tien

Shuangyu Wei

Professor of Energy Storage Technologies


In favourable climates and building types, employing natural ventilation can lead to significant energy savings and health benefits. However, in cold climates or conditions, the use of natural ventilation could result in significant heat loss and, consequently, excessive heating bills. This is further exacerbated when windows are left unintentionally open by occupants during the heating season, causing unnecessary energy consumption and wastage, which compromises the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) efficiency. Occupant behaviour influences and shapes the building's energy use and indoor environment quality. In particular, the occupant's interaction with the building and its elements, such as window openings, has a considerable effect on the air change rate and the thermal load for ventilation. Studies have shown that real-time occupancy information can improve the operation of HVAC, lighting and utilisation of building zones or spaces by coupling it with demand-driven control and occupant-centric strategies. The present study introduces a computer vision and deep learning-based detection approach for the real-time monitoring and recognition of the opening and closing of windows. The study aims to use the detection approach to reduce the energy demand by correctly controlling the HVAC or alerting the building users/operators during periods when windows are left open, minimising the unwanted air change rates and heating or cooling loads. The study will take an in-depth look into the performance of the detection model, in particular, the influence of data curation, labelling and training employed. Four types of window detectors were configured and evaluated based on the detection of a set of windows within a case study building, which will help seek the most accurate detection and recognition of window opening status. The impact of the detection method on building energy demand was investigated through a series of building energy simulation (BES) scenario cases. Simulations were conducted using predefined fixed profiles, along with the window detection and ‘actual’ profiles. Compared with the “actual” profile results, using fixed or static profiles to simulate the window conditions is insufficient and can lead to inaccurate prediction of ventilation heat loss. The study has shown that the detection and recognition ability of the models ultimately influenced the prediction of the ventilation heat loss and heating energy demand.


Tien, P. W., Wei, S., Calautit, J., Darkwa, J., & Wood, C. (2022). Enhancing the detection performance of a vision-based window opening detector. Cleaner Energy Systems, 3, Article 100038.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 1, 2022
Online Publication Date Nov 2, 2022
Publication Date 2022-12
Deposit Date Nov 11, 2022
Publicly Available Date Nov 25, 2022
Journal Cleaner Energy Systems
Publisher Elsevier BV
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Article Number 100038
Public URL
Publisher URL


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