Finally! A Possible Solution to Thermostat Wars

Finally. Maybe? No shot!!  Those were my immediate thoughts when I read the below article.  The war over office temperatures has been fought for decades. The ability to heat and cool their space for themselves, is one of the biggest issues our tenants have. In Arizona, this is compounded by the heat and sunlight beating on the windows during the summer.  

New technology in HVAC data collection and implementation is bringing hope to tenants.  Here are a few highlights:

1.     Agnelli Foundation Headquarters –This building is being equipped with thousands of sensors to track temperature, light, density, etc. in order to provide a climate bubble for each employee.  As the price of sensors drops precipitously, this will change how energy management systems can analyze data.

2.     Comfy – An app designed to give employees the ability to instantly cool or heat their environment.

3.     The Edge – The most high-tech office building in the world provides its tenant with an app that connects them to the building’s lighting and heating systems.  As each individual uses the app, the system becomes smarter, optimizing the environment.

There is no end all be all solution…..Yet.  But there is hope.  Email me if you want us to give you hope in your office space negotiations.

Craig
602.954.3762
ccoppola@leearizona.com


At Last, a Possible Solution to Office Thermostat Wars
New technologies are giving individual office workers more control over the climate around them

By Rachel Emma
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March 3rd, 2017

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Wars over office temperature may be coming to a thaw.

Thanks to advances in workplace architecture and new sensor and app technologies, individual workers are getting more control over the climate around them, which has long been a battleground for office workers.

Some of the new technologies seem straight out of science fiction. One building under renovation in Italy is going to provide workers with their own “thermal bubbles” that can follow them around the building, so workers will each have their own climate-controlled zone. Elsewhere, smartphone apps such as Comfy let workers order a 10-minute blast of hot or cold air. Users click on either “cool my space” or “warm my space” functions on the app, which connects to a building’s ventilation system, says Erica Eaton, Comfy’s director of strategy.
 
The headquarters for the Agnelli Foundation in Turin, Italy, is being equipped with thousands of sensors that measure things like temperature, light levels and occupancy levels, and can make adjustments to temperature and lighting throughout the building in real time, says Carlo Ratti, who heads the eponymous architecture firm that designed the renovation of the more than 100-year-old building. Employees can set their preferred workplace temperatures on an app. Then, heating and cooling units located in the ceilings can be activated by their phones, allowing a “thermal bubble” to follow them around the building. When an occupant leaves a particular space, it will return to an energy-saving “standby mode,” like a computer, says Mr. Ratti, also a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
 
If two employees in proximity have conflicting preferences, the system will average them out, “without any thermostat wars,” he says. “Our aim is to shift the focus from heating or cooling spaces, to heating or cooling people and the space they are occupying.”
 
At the Edge, the Amsterdam office of professional-services firm Deloitte that opened in December 2014, workers can provide their heating, cooling and lighting preferences and make subtle adjustments to temperature via their smartphones, after downloading a special building app, says Dave Sie, a strategy and operations executive at Deloitte Real Estate Consulting.
 
The 14-story building’s 28,000 sensors collect anonymized data about workers’ temperature and lighting adjustments, eventually learning aggregated users’ preferences.

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Architecture firm NBBJ, which has designed headquarters for firms such as Amazon.com Inc., is experimenting with new temperature, lighting, movement and sound-tracking sensors it calls Goldilocks, says Ryan Mullenix, an NBBJ design partner in Seattle.

Last year NBBJ placed about 50 of the sensors in its New York office. The sensors generate heat maps that workers can track on their phones, helping them to choose workspaces in the office based on their heating, light and sound preferences, which might change throughout the day, Mr. Mullenix says.
 
NBBJ hopes that the data collected by Goldilocks about its employees’ climate preferences can help the firm design more thoughtful solutions to office climate battles.

“When six people are in one room and they all want six different things regarding climate and light, how do you come to the right consensus? That is the next challenge,” Mr. Mullenix says.