As noted in an email to campus Tuesday, Case Western Reserve University is transitioning from cooling to heating in buildings as winter approaches. (The subject line on the email erroneously stated heating to cooling.)
Throughout campus, there are a variety of building heating and cooling systems. Largely, heating systems turn on and off automatically at specific outside temperatures depending on the heat loads of the individual building. Chilled water is used to cool most buildings in the warmer months.
As we head into winter, Facilities Services maintenance team will drain the chilled water systems to protect them from freeze damage. Once chilled water is unavailable, most buildings will use the cool outside winter air to control heat loads and to maintain comfortable inside temperatures. On rare occasions between November and March, when outside temperatures rise above 60°F and outside air is not cool enough to counter these heat loads, buildings may feel warmer.
Building temperature set points
During normal operating hours, building temperatures are targeted to fall between 68°F and 72°F for the heating season, and between 70°F and 74°F for the cooling season, in accordance with typical practices and to control humidity. Because normal operating hours vary throughout campus, facilities staff work directly with the respective facility directors to verify and validate operational hours.
Although facilities staff tries to maintain spaces within these temperature ranges, occupants may experience temperatures a few degrees on either side of these set-point ranges depending on their location in the building and the time of year. As the university continues to invest in building control systems, facilities will be better able to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures throughout the year.