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  #1  
Old 10-28-2004, 10:41 AM
anamnesis anamnesis is offline
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Standard office temperature?

Okay, silly question, but I've done some research into this and can't really find a conclusive answer (probably because there isn't one) but in the off-chance anyone has a background in HVAC engineering, maybe I can get an opinion ... and even if not, feel free to chime in with your own anyway.

I'm looking for data on whether or not there is a standard temperature for commercial spaces such as offices, hospitals, skyscrapers, and other such buildings. Most emergency health agencies will acknowledge some sort of temperature even though OSHA doesn't have a specific policy on such a thing.

Even if you don't have a definite factual answer, I'd still love to hear what other people have their thermostats set at in their offices, and whether or not you think temperature affects how you work. I'm doing a statistical average for a project about the impact of environmental conditions on working behaviors.
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  #2  
Old 10-28-2004, 10:55 AM
Dag Otto Dag Otto is offline
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Standards for this will be set by ASHRAE. A quick search found this link.

temperatures in the winter should range from 68-74 F and 73-79 F in the summer.

They note right away that not everyone is going to be happy. If you are responsible for an HVAC system, you'll soon learn how to ignore the complainers.
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  #3  
Old 10-28-2004, 11:14 AM
don't ask don't ask is offline
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My understanding is that such things are far more complicated. The father of a kid I once coached was some sort of environmental engineer and I once looked at a report he was working on at cricket. It made several references to "sick building syndrome" and a quick search turned up this which discusses many of the things he was talking about in his report.
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Old 10-28-2004, 11:28 AM
spingears spingears is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anamnesis
Even if you don't have a definite factual answer, I'd still love to hear what other people have their thermostats set at in their offices, and whether or not you think temperature affects how you work. I'm doing a statistical average for a project about the impact of environmental conditions on working behaviors.
1. Whatever the BOSS wants. My wife works in a office and shop serving the public where the temperater is COLD, i.e. <68 F the year around. The women were an extra layer or two and shed it as they leave.
2. When I worked in a large office complex the thermostats were set to the ASHRE standards and the wishes of the occupants. Everyone was satisfied except where two secretaries shared one larger office. A technician was sent to satisfies their complaints of one too hot, one too cool. He consulted with both, tinkered with the thermostat, told them all should be well and left. It would be another two or three weeks till a major weather change would result in new complaints, and another 'adjustment' to satisfy the occupants.

Comfort is highly subjective. Our house is set for 68-69 in the winter, and 76-77 in the summer. In the spring and fall the temperature fluctuates bwtween the two min/max settings.
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  #5  
Old 10-28-2004, 12:25 PM
SusanStoHelit SusanStoHelit is offline
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Actually, comfort isn't that subjective according to a Cornell Universtiy study reported by NBC. According to this study, raising the temperature greatly reduces typing mistakes and increases output.

I used to work at a bank. Most of my co-workers were menopausal women, and between the middle-age spread and the hot flashes, we used to keep it cold enough to hang meat in there.
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  #6  
Old 10-28-2004, 02:41 PM
Dag Otto Dag Otto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by don't ask
My understanding is that such things are far more complicated.
Your link gives this:

CIBSE recommends a temperature of between 19 and 23

Which approximately converts to 66F and 73F. How is that more complicated?
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  #7  
Old 10-28-2004, 09:12 PM
anamnesis anamnesis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dag Otto
Your link gives this ...
Which approximately converts to 66F and 73F. How is that more complicated?
He was just trying to offer another set of ideas about how the conditions in working environments, aside from temperature, affect the way people work.
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  #8  
Old 10-28-2004, 10:31 PM
antechinus antechinus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by don't ask
My understanding is that such things are far more complicated. The father of a kid I once coached was some sort of environmental engineer and I once looked at a report he was working on at cricket. It made several references to "sick building syndrome" and a quick search turned up this which discusses many of the things he was talking about in his report.
I do not hold much regard for that site.

Australian NOHSC recommendations - "In winter when you are wearing heavy clothes a comfortable temperature is 20 to 24C. In the summer when you are wearing light clothes 23 to 26C is more comfortable".
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  #9  
Old 10-29-2004, 12:36 AM
MaceMan MaceMan is offline
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I thought that that 72 F (22 C) was the standard. I work as a biologist, and 20-25 C (or 68-77 F) seems to be the range commonly cited for "room temperature."
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