Why does the University have temperature settings guidelines?
Heating and cooling can form up to 50% of the energy usage in many Melbourne University buildings. The University seeks to maintain uniform temperatures within the range of 20°C to 26°C throughout air conditioned buildings. This forms part of the University's commitment to reduce its carbon footprint, through less energy used from heating and cooling systems.
How were these settings chosen?
The Victorian State Government and WorkSafe Victoria recommends a temperature range of 20°C to 26°C for the Working Environment, which is heating in winter up to 20°C and cooling in summer down to 26°C.
For more information, refer to the WorkSafe Victoria: Workplace Amenities and Environment
How does this affect you?
Your perception of thermal comfort can be affected by a number of factors. These include air temperature, air movement, humidity, type of clothing worn, your level of physical activity, even the radiant temperature (the average temperature of the walls, floor, windows), and level of sun penetration to your work environment. For most office workers, the optimum comfort levels occur between 21 - 26°C, with a 30 - 60 % relative humidity.
Some considerations for dealing with thermal discomfort are:
- Work programs should be arranged to take into account extended periods of excessive heat or cold. If practicable, work could commence and finish at times that avoid the greatest heat.
- The time staff are exposed to hot tasks can be reduced through job rotation (frequent brief exposures are less stressful than fewer longer exposures);
- Arranging extra ventilation to increase air movement
- Doors and windows are closed to the heat for all or part of the day to prevent hot winds entering the room or building;
- Heat generating equipment such as screen-based equipment photocopiers and incandescent lights are turned off, where practicable
- Windows are covered with either blinds or reflective coating
- Use fans in areas of low ventilation.
Please contact Campus Services on 8344 0888.