Monday, October 9, 2017

What you need to know for the upcoming heating season

As we move from the Summer into the Fall, there are four key messages FM would like to share around building temperatures and occupancy comfort:

  • Mid-term exams run the show. The season changes around mid-terms and keeping campus comfortable remains a top priority for the Division. High-volume buildings like Weldon, UCC, and Nat Sci are susceptible to above average temperatures during warmer weather. Facilities Management works closely with building managers to provide the best studying and exam space.
  • Once we switch to heating, we cannot switch back to cooling. The systems to heat and cool the university are different. The air conditioning equipment is drained of chilled water, in order to prevent pipes freezing and bursting. Temperatures below zero threaten these pipes and therefore once the cold weather rolls in, Facilities Management must decommission cooling systems. They will only be recommission when the warmer weather arrives in the Spring. Unfortunately, if there is a hot day before then, the campus will not be able to react with air conditioning.
  • Fluctuating temperatures in the Fall will make it tough to hit thermostat set points in all nine million square feet of occupied space on campus. This is a big place and getting each classroom or office perfectly comfortable, is difficult even when the outdoor air temperatures are static. Seasonal changes in humidity, heat waves and cold snaps, and occupancy volumes add to the challenge.
  • The good news - We are here to help! Tweeters are encouraged to drop us a tweet and report on abnormal conditions @westernuFM
For more information on the 'shoulder season', check out our standing story and related facts; http://www.uwo.ca/fm/who/news/fall_shoulder_season.html

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