Thursday, 14 June 2007

It's Cold Out There - Rant

I understand the point and even agree with it but the execution does not meet the ideals.
Our Group Executive (the very senior managers) have made a decision to act in a more environmentally friendly and sustainable manner by allowing the average floor temperature in our building to “a couple of degrees warmer in summer and a couple of degrees cooler in winter.” This is admirable and not a sentiment to be dismissed too quickly.
The previous average floor temperature was 22.5 degrees, neither too cool nor too warm. The new temperature they are shooting for is 20.5 degrees. Again, acceptable and if one feels a little chill then a jacket will easily accommodate that.
Here’s the problem. With the exception of the foyer, all floors are only equipped with cooling. The presence of bodies and computers and no door or window open to the elements will warm the floor sufficiently and the cooling ensures that the mean temperature is maintained.
By setting the system temperature to 20.5 degrees however ensures that the air-conditioning is blowing cold air all the time to ensure that the average floor temperature is kept at 20.5 degrees. Not only does this seem to fly in the face of being environmentally friendly by having an air-conditioning system running ALL the time, the wind-chill makes the air feel colder by another 6 to 8 degrees.
My desk is situated near an air con. vent and it feels about 12 or 14 degrees. I bought a thermometer a while ago to measure the static air temperature and it confirms that we are at about 20.5 degrees. If I had some easy means to measure air velocity then I would happily calculate the wind-chill and reinforce my case.
The system needs to be set to 24.5 degrees so that the cooling does not come on if it is less than that. Given that it is 10 degrees outside, this should not be too much of a concern !
The Managing Director has been made aware of my situation. The OH&S rep. has been made aware. The Building Property Manager has been made aware. They don’t care. Their desks aren’t near the vents. They don’t really understand how the air con works in this building anyway (trust me, I do. I have had 12 months of this and have thought about the rotten thing too often).
All I know is, I’M COLD !!!

1 comment:

clockwise said...

This happened to me once.

At Fosters, we were working in a room known as the "Dungeon". The air conditioning was on the setting known as "stupid" and it was completely freezing the whole time. My fingers actually started to freeze up. It was 40c outside and 15 degrees in the dungeon. Completely ridiculous.

You've only got a few courses of action. Move desks. Swap with someone. 'Take out' the air conditioning (go on.... you know you want to).

The funny thing is that where I'm working now it's the opposite. It's always stuffy and boiling. If you sit too close to one end of the room you start to sweat. Ridiculous.