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Heating and Cooling

In most instances temperature management of indoor environments is governed by central controls monitored by FO&M. Building occupants can, however, contribute to their own comfort by wearing seasonably appropriate clothing and making sure that windows, storms, shades and blinds work and are positioned for the season. In addition, occupants may work in different locations where conditions may be more favorable on occasion when it is possible to do so.

Winter Season:
The targeted temperature for most work spaces is 68°F. Due to building characteristics and control limitations, actual temperatures will vary. Wherever feasible, night time and weekend temperatures will be reduced to approximately 55°F. Temperatures in storerooms, hallways, stairwells and other unoccupied areas will be kept in the 45°F to 55°F range, unless it is feasible to shut off heat altogether.

The only exceptions to these guidelines will be in laboratories, experimental areas, museums and other spaces where there is a demonstrated work requirement for maintenance of higher or more consistent temperatures. Electric heaters to supplement central heating are allowed only with the authorization of FO&M. These devices can be dangerously misused and will be allowed only under controlled circumstances. Windows should not be opened during the winter to cool spaces. FO&M should be consulted whenever central heating is not performing adequately.

Summer Season:

Except for a relatively few days during the summer season, ventilation from fans and open windows is generally a satisfactory means to maintain reasonable working conditions in most spaces. Nonetheless, individuals may have to cope as best they can with working conditions that are temporarily uncomfortable due to heat and humidity.

It is, however, necessary to recognize that conditions exist in some spaces - due either to the nature of the work being conducted in those areas or to the design and/or construction of the spaces themselves - which require additional measures to improve working environments during particularly hot, humid periods. When identified, these areas will be dealt with as follows:

The area will be assessed by representatives from FO&M and, as appropriate, the Facilities Planning Office and the RWG. Such factors as programmatic demands, building characteristics, occupant density and history of extreme conditions will be evaluated.

If it is determined that special measures are required to manage extreme conditions during summer months, an incremental approach will be taken. Treatments investigated will include additional ventilation, shading, window treatment, insulation, and, in extreme instances, air conditioning to reduce temperature, humidity, or both. An energy management consultant may be engaged to assist in the development of alternatives.

Installation of improvements recommended will be contingent upon their priority relative to other institutional needs and the identification of available financing.

In areas where air conditioning systems have been installed, the targeted temperature will be 78°F (except in auditoriums, classrooms and other areas where large numbers of people may assemble, where the pre-event target will be 74°F). Other exceptions to this air conditioning guideline may need to be made to meet defined laboratory, experimental, library or museum requirements. Due to building characteristics and control limitations, actual temperatures may vary from the target.

Any deviations from the above standards must be reviewed by FO&M.

Contact Information

Facilities Operations and Management
HB 6111

Last Updated: 10/8/08