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Building Temperature Policy

(Click here to download a PDF of this document.)

The goal of this policy is to create a reasonably comfortable working and learning environment while balancing the need to economize and use our resources wisely. It is applicable to all campus buildings (offices, classrooms, public spaces, etc.) unless specifically exempted by the Director, Facilities Management & Planning (FMP).

Heating Season
The heating season is generally from mid‐October to mid‐April (depending upon prevailing weather conditions). During Normally Occupied Hours*, heat will be provided to maintain indoor temperatures as close to 68°F as practical (usually ±2°F). During off hours, temperatures may be allowed to drop as low as 55°F. This is consistent with ASHRAE standards (Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy) to be comfortable for most people who are dressed appropriately for the season.

Exceptions:
Spaces which require higher temperatures, such as: Animal Rooms, Laboratories, or other spaces with specific temperature needs. All exceptions must be approved by the Director, FMP.

Space Heaters:
Space heater use should be avoided due to energy and safety implications. Space heaters may be used only if specifically approved by the Assistant Director, Facilities Management & Planning. Approval ensures that causes of discomfort have been thoroughly investigated and that space heaters, where needed, meet minimum safety standards.


Cooling Season
The cooling season is generally from mid‐April to mid‐October (depending upon prevailing weather conditions). During Normally Occupied Hours*, cooling is provided to maintain indoor temperatures as close to 78°F as practical (usually ±2°F). During off hours, temperatures may be allowed to either rise above this temperature, or in the case of the hottest periods, drop below this level in order to lower our cooling demand during peak use periods. The target temperature is a balance based on ASHRAE standards (Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy) to be comfortable for most people who are dressed appropriately for the season and the desire to be as energy wise and resource efficient as possible.

Exceptions:
A substantial portion of UNO’s monthly electricity cost is determined by the highest 15‐minute peak use period of the previous year. In an effort to keep our utility costs as reasonable as possible, it may be necessary to sub‐cool buildings during late night hours when our demand is low, and to allow temperatures to rise above the ideal band during the times of greatest demand. When advanced notice allows, notifications will be made via campus communications ahead of periods when this is anticipated. Exceptions will also be made for technology closets and other equipment requiring cooling.


* Normally Occupied Hours
Normally occupied hours are generally 7 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on weekdays. Weekend hours will be consistent with hours of operation (in the case of the Criss Library, Sapp Field House, Weber Fine Arts, Strauss Performing Arts, HPER for example). Normally occupied hours will be determined by the Dean of each college or appropriate building coordinator. In the case of special events, notify your building coordinator to ensure that appropriate heating or cooling is provided.


To Report Problems:
To report temperature problems, please call the Facilities Service Desk 4‐3600 from any campus phone. Questions or concerns about temperature policy implementation should be addressed to the Assistant Director, FMP at 4‐3735 or Chief Engineer at 4‐3736.


Seasonal Changes
Exact times of seasonal change are difficult to predict. When determining the switchover date, FMP considers prevailing weather patterns, the campus HVAC systems and controls, and building usage. Switchover is approximately a two‐week process that is not immediately reversible. In the spring and fall, outside temperatures can vary considerably. Please be aware that indoor temperatures might drift beyond the comfort guidelines during transition times.

Issued: 03/03/2009