The Classroom Comfort Plan

students

Joules the Cow is embarking on a mission to investigate comfort in the classrooms across campus. Her mission was sparked by a dive into the feedback she receives from TherMOOstatthe tool crowdsourcing comfort feedback on campus.

Finding Classroom Discomfort

TherMOOstat has been around since fall 2014, and we have over 18,000 records of your comfort feedback! Furthermore, we have a year's worth of comfort data that also has the room's temperature at the time of the TherMOOstat feedback (painstakingly added by a comfort champion in our office). When all this data is plotted on a graph, it looks like this: 

Your TherMOOstat data: Room Temperatures vs. Outside Air Temperature

 

TherMOOstat feedback plotted by indoor and outdoor temperatures

In the graph above, we plotted each TherMOOstat record by the temperature in the room and the temperature outside, at the time of the record's submission.

 

What we see is in classroom buildings, when the outside temperature get's over 95°F and the room is below 75°F, the people in the room are cold.

Most noticeably, people are generally too cold on very hot days– generally in classrooms

 

This cold feedback indicates potential overcooling of indoor spaces! (This finding is exactly why your TherMOOstat feedback is so important, and how you're helping to save energy on campus.) 

 

What can we do about overcooling?

Our Energy and Controls team has a plan to address the classroom overcooling. Using feedback from your TherMOOstat data, we've created something called a comfort band.

The Campus Comfort Band is a range of temperatures that fluctuates throughout the day based on the outdoor temperature.

 

This dynamic comfort band takes into account the outdoor temperature and should make the transition from an outdoor to an indoor space less drastic.  In pre-comfort band times, the temperature range for indoor spaces was constant throughout the day, but the graph below shows how the new comfort band changes as the outdoor temperatures do.

The New Campus Comfort Band

graph of comfort band

 

What does this mean for you?

Based on the TherMOOstat feedback we're receiving, the comfort band for classroom spaces will be between 73°F - 78°F when it's warmer outside, and between 69°F - 76°F when it's cooler outside. 

warm temp band

You shouldn't have to bring a sweater to class when it's over 95°F outside. As the comfort band changes to track the outside air temperature, you won't feel that drastic change of walking into a classroom that feels 'freezing'. 

cooler band

The comfort band should make it easier for you to transition between outdoor and indoor spaces.

We'd like to be tweaking comfort band as needed to make sure the comfort band is comfortable to the people in the room. Therefore, your TherMOOstat feedback is extremely important information that we're relying on to know if the comfort band is doing its job. Please submit your hot and cold feedback, but also perfect feedback so we can verify that the room is comfortable for those occupying the space. 

 

We know comfort is a difficult goal to strive for, especially in rooms with over 200 people in them, but our team is eager to take on this goal to address both comfort and energy efficiency issues on campus. While you're in class, we'll be working hard in the background to investigate all of your TherMOOstat submissions. We'd like to ask for your patience as we adjust to the new comfort band work we're taking on. Lastly, we consider you to be contributing members of the team, so please don't hesitate to reach out to us at energyfeedback@ucdavis.edu (using the subject line: Comfort Band in Classrooms). 

 

 

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