Facility managers who take into consideration their occupants’ comfort find a return in terms of overall wellness and efficiency. Heating and cooling systems can make or break the efficiency of a facility. For most occupants, room temperature provides the optimal comfort level. This range typically falls between 68 and 72° F.
Maintaining thermal comfort depends on being able to maintain a consistent room temperature environment throughout your facility. In reality, the readout on the thermostat does not always reflect the experience of occupants in a given environment.
Follow these four steps to make your building more comfortable for occupants:
1. Look Beyond the Thermostat
One of the most common mistakes facilities managers make when addressing occupant concerns is to take the thermostat at face value. It’s not that the thermostat doesn’t work. But it doesn’t always reflect the variant temperatures in different spots in a room or building.
Here are a few ways to check temperature beyond the thermostat:
● Take multiple readings throughout your facility
● Check at various times of day and throughout the week
● Check humidity levels
2. Listen to Occupant Feedback
Unpredictable factors can cause the temperature to fluctuate and vary from one area of a building to the next. Every facility manager gets feedback about that one room or rooms that defy logic and keep occupants feeling too hot or too cold. Look at this as your facility’s occupants giving you the tools you need to do your job well.
Factors that may affect occupant comfort:
● Amount of lighting in a space
● Fresh air
● Relative humidity
● Activity levels of occupants
● Heat sources
3. Prioritize Concerns
After analyzing your building, you will need to make a list of problem areas. The key to making occupants happy is prioritizing those areas of concern. Broken or aging equipment should be assessed and replaced first. Formulate a long-term strategy to reduce costly drains on energy.
4. Create Thermal Schedules Based on Occupancy and Demand
Creating thermal schedules based on your facility’s demand and prime occupancy levels is one of the most important things you can do to maintain occupant comfort. It also helps your facility meet green initiatives as it reduces your environmental footprint. Our LEED engineers can conduct a building energy audit and help you find ways to use less cooling or heating when most of the building’s occupants are away from the facility. Consider using automation to put the building on a timer.
HVAC Professionals in Minnesota
To learn more about our HVAC services, contact LKPB Engineers serving Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Rochester today. Our qualified mechanical engineering experts are happy to answer any campus distribution system questions you might have and offer solutions for your organization.
Our professionals are experts in campus HVAC and mechanical design. We can also offer solutions for fire sprinkler design, plumbing design, building energy modeling services, and renewable energy consulting. Whether you need our expertise with HVAC system design or reducing your environmental footprint, we can help. For more information, call us at 612-540-5000, or you can message us on our contact page.