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    July 10, 2017

    Office Battlegrounds – The Perfect Temperature (Thermal Comfort)

    Office environments are notorious battlegrounds for control over the thermostat. Even when that’s out of reach, employees can take matters into their own hands and bring in space heaters and fans to control their environment, much to the dismay of others.

    Young businesswoman feeling freezy in officeWELL Building Standard #76 (Thermal Comfort) addresses this issue of thermal comfort. It reports that thermal comfort can affect employees’ moods, performance, and productivity and admits that temperature preferences are very personal and can vary wildly from one person to the next. 

    Even the temperature in a room can vary. There can be a difference of up to five degrees just from the window to the wall.

    In order to become WELL certified, all ventilated work spaces must meet the design, operating, and performance criteria in ASHRAE Standard 55-2013, Section 5.3, and natural environments must meet the criteria in ASHRAE Standard 55-2013, Section 5.4. 

    These standards define the range of thermal environmental conditions that are acceptable to the majority of a building’s occupants based on a number of factors including air movement and employee’s probable wardrobes. But on an individual level, where perception is so variable, is there anything else that can be done?

    Fortunately, there is a new product called Comfy that is out there to help. Comfy is the Waze version of thermal control. Employees can download and use this app to customize their work space by requesting the space to be warmer or cooler. Comfy crowd sources the information and puts thermal comfort in the end users hands.

    Comfy works by picking up 100 data points from each person’s request and then aggregating these individual requests and those of co-workers to adjust the air temperature most effectively. It has the ability to work in all types of office environments from conference rooms, open office layouts, to private offices. 

    By following WELL Standard #76 and using Comfy, employers can rest easy in the knowledge that their employees are enjoying personalized thermal comfort.

    Ray Carney

    Ray serves as Chief Executive Officer at Markon. His experience includes providing leadership, program management, organizational strategy, design thinking, data centers, and the creation of secure environments. Ray holds an MBA from University of Notre Dame and a BS in Business Administration from John Carroll...

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