Energy consumption can be attributed to many factors; technology, energy prices, general economic conditions, attitude and behavior towards energy use. Studies indicate that although people are often aware of the benefits of using energy more efficiently, a variety of social, cultural, and economic factors often prevent them from doing so. This paper presents the findings of a research project funded by Qatar Foundation to understand the behaviors, attitudes, and levels of understanding among faculty, staff, and students related to energy use in Qatar University buildings. A multi-method approach was used in five buildings including web surveys, behavioral observations, environmental measures and focused interviews. The analyses considered differences between the three population groups. Among the findings, QU staff is most concerned about conserving energy in QU buildings while students are the least concerned. A significant proportion of survey respondents are not aware of the university's efforts to conserve energy and many felt that university efforts are inadequate. The observations and self-reports indicated an abundance of energy-consuming equipment in offices, and lights and computers are often left on when work spaces and conference rooms are unoccupied. Furthermore, occupants tend to wear heavy clothing during warm weather months, requiring excessively low building temperatures. Finally, most occupants are willing to accept higher building temperatures during warm weather months and lower temperatures during cold weather months. This research attempted to understand the psychological, cultural, and institutional context within which energy-related decisions are made in educational facilities and how these factors influence energy consumption. Understanding these factors helps public agencies design and implement more effective energy-saving policies and programs. Methods and tools developed by this study can be duplicated in other building types and facilities.


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