Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Office Temps

Normally in the office I work in, the office temp is 20-22. Occasionally, we get 18s, or even 17s, more often in the summer. In the winter we can frequently get 24s and 25s.

Today, we got a 29.

This wouldn't be so bad if "office temp" was shorthand for "temporary worker," but unfortunately in this case it refers to the office temperature, according to the thermometer in my Planet Bike cycle computer (which I only really use for telling temperature).

What better thing to arrive to after a long weekend with important things piled up (plus the late night last night fixing my laptop), than a sweltering office with no windows that open. The landlord gave a story of why it couldn't be fixed.

A couple summers ago it was even worse. Every day I'd come into the office and it would be 17 or 18 degrees, while it was in the mid to high 20s outside (and, I might add, in my home). Not only could I not acclimatize to the high temperatures, but I couldn't wear any of my summer clothes. I wore sweaters and cycling gloves with cut fingers to keep my hands from freezing. I even have a space heater, which is fucking insane to have to use when it's 26 degrees outside. I started keeping a log of what the temperature is each day, both when I get in and when I leave.

The worst part is the complete randomness. Some days, irrespective of season, it'll be freezing cold, and others it will be boiling hot. Getting dressed in the morning isn't so much an exercise in fashion as in survival.

The last office I was in was similar, although it had windows that you could open, and it was at least consistently freezing cold in the summer. A family member of mine who works in a federal government department told me she has a blanket in her office to keep warm, leading me to believe that most offices are like this.

It's no wonder, then, that buildings produce over a third of GHG emissions! And no matter how high a LEED rating some new building has (which may not even have lower energy usage - PDF), it's still adding to the total amount of energy consumed by our building stock. Maybe if energy prices skyrocketed again building owners would pay more attention to this waste.

In the meantime, I think I'll go someplace for a cold drink.

- RG>

1 comment:

XUP said...

Every office I've ever been in is like this, too. It's really difficult to maintain comfortable temps in a larger office building apparantly. Part of the problem is space configuration - offices with doors, cubicles that don't allow proper ventilation and circulation of heat/col. People put file cabinets and other furniture in front of the vents, wreaking havoc with the thermostat. Some people open windows which again messes with stuff. And because there's not air circulation winter or summer, everyone has a fan and/or a space heater. The whole thing is crazy and a huge waste of money from what I can see.