1. Sustainability Problem
Controllability of Systems – Thermal Comfort
In summer air-conditioning season, nothing is more divisive than when and where to set the temperature in workplaces. Some employees control the thermostat and it’s a daily battle of, “I’m cold. I’m hot. Turn it off. Turn it up.” Thermal comfort impacts worker productivity and company’s triple bottom line. New information and office productivity technologies are a driving force for innovation.
2. Technology Article Summary
An article from the Wall Street Journal: Cold War Over the Office Thermostat
By Sue Shellenbarger
Updated June 8, 2016 12:47 p.m. ET
- People dress to stay cool on the commute but freeze inside the office. Some wear sweaters or coat at work, while others strip down to a T-shirt and sandals.
- Some employees tamper with the thermostat without asking colleagues. According to a survey by the International Facility Management Association, many devise tactics to get the temperature they want inside offices.
- Building managers maintain temperatures in a range between 68 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit—comfort levels for most people.
- To placate complainers, some facility managers install dummy thermostats to give occupants an illusion of control, although with no connection to the air-conditioning system.
- Dummy thermostats make office workers happier because of the sense of control over the temperature. Office workers perform best when they have control over their physical environment.
- Many variables affect individuals’ basal body temperatures:
- Different circadian rhythms
- Diet and exercise
- People are using high tech approach to manage thermostat disputes:
- Comfy, a smartphone app that allows occupants to request one of the following: Warm My Space, Cool My Space, or I’m Comfy. It then sends a blast of hot or cool air to their area.
- View Dynamic Glass, a smart window that enables smartphone-app users to lighten or darken the shading to heat or cool the interior, without blocking the view of outdoors.
- Vector Occupant, an app that allows occupants use their smartphones to register complaints about the temperature with the building’s control system.
- CrowdComfort, a crowd-sourcing app that enables office occupants to send complaints via smartphone to the building manager; about 30% to 40% are from people who are either too hot or too cold.
- Using CrowdComfort app, facility managers quickly adjust temperatures that are out of the target range, or fix problems.
- By building a network of human sensors, CrowdComfort allows users to capture data related to the human sensory experience. With this data, people can influence comfort, safety, and operations, and collaborate to make a building’s environment more efficient and more effective.
- CrowdComfort’s Human Sensor Network platform leverages crowd-sourced occupant feedback to improve safety and operations in workplaces, unlock efficiencies in facilities management and preventative maintenance, increase employee productivity, and more.1
- Organizational Stakeholders
- Building Occupants
- Business Owners/Employers
- Management Executives: CEOs, CFOs, COOs
- Office Managers
- Office Workers
- Building/Operations Managers
How it works? 2
- Sign-up for CrowdComfort’s Software-as-a-Service (Saas) cloud platform – no hardware required.
- Install QR codes in rooms and assets throughout building.
- Customize what information you receive and where it goes; integrate with existing building’s system.
- Collect site-specific feedback in real time to fix problems before they escalate.
- Analyze building and team performance to improve operations, increase productivity, and reduce costs.