Heating at Greenwich

To help balance our needs to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce energy costs and meet the comfort levels of our estate users the university has to manage its heating provision. This can be challenging given the variety of building types and heating systems, their ages and the different temperature tolerances our users have.

The University’s Heating & Cooling Policy sets out key information about the temperatures we week to maintain plus recommendations and clarification to help our stakeholders be thermally comfortable. This includes the aim to heat to 20 °C (± 1°C to allow for control variances). Our campus Facilities Management staff will manage the heating systems to seek to meet this temperature and will respond if users think it is below this level. To help you stay warm the following provides some guidance to help ) (also refer to the Policy for further guidance).

Space heating:

The following guidance will help you increase the heating effectiveness or reduce the need of its application in the space you occupy and also suggests how you can warm up using other options.

  • Don’t open windows when the heating is on.
  • Report to your FM Office poorly fitting windows and exterior doors and incorrectly operating automatic door closers.
  • Close internal doors between areas of different temperatures, such as an office and corridor. This will keep the heat in and reduce cold draughts. Communal areas will be slightly cooler than office areas as staff should be comfortable at their work stations.
  • The layout of the room’s furniture may impact on the effectiveness of the heating/cooling system. Ensure furniture is away from heaters/coolers and vents and that they are not covered with items of clothing etc.
  • Avoid sitting in a sedentary position for extensive periods. Getting up, stretching legs, drinking hot drinks can all raise body temperatures of staff that may have sensitivities to the cold. Sedentary working is also linked to many health conditions. Try to move every 30 minutes and stand for 5 about minutes in each hour.
  • Wear clothing appropriate for the external weather conditions. If the weather outside is cold, this will impact internal temperature condition. Consider keeping a spare jumper in the office for those occasional ‘off days’ when you may feel colder and wear layers that you can adjust according to your comfort.
  • Radiators that are fitted with thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) may be adjustable to help to make the heating conditions in the room more comfortable. The lower the number on the dial, the lower the temperature setting for the room. Where TRVs are locked your Campus FM team will need to adjust them.
  • Turn the TRV down to the frost setting * or number 1 to reduce the demand on the overall heating system when you are away from the office for a few days and over weekends. Ensure that TRV’s are within reach to adjust.

Supplementary Heaters

Electrical heating results in at least twice the carbon emissions of a controlled gas heating system and the uncontrolled use of personal portable heaters can compromise the effectiveness of the buildings temperature system due to false sensor readings. Refer to the Policy for further information.

Radiators cold?

Have you found your radiators off when its cold outside? This isn’t the heating system that has broken down, it is simply the heating coming on before work and heating to the desired temperature before the thermostat turns of if the radiator which will then begin cooling down until the heating needs to come on again later in the day.

Next steps if you still think it too cold

If you believe it is too hot or too cold in your area and have tried the above measures, contact your local campus FM Office Helpdesk. They will investigate using handheld or calibrated temperature logging devices in the space and gather data. The results will determine the appropriate action to deal with the complaint. If you work in a flexible work environment and if the temperature is uncomfortable for you then move to a warmer/cooler area of your office or building.

Please note:

  • The Health & Safety Executive recommend a minimum temperature for sedentary staff at 16°C. For non-sedentary staff it is 13°C. There is no legal maximum temperature for working.
  • People have different levels of sensitivity to heat and cold (what is hot to some may be cold to others and what may be cold to some may be hot for others). Where there is a medical requirement to be heated to a higher temperature then this will be considered confidentially via Human Resources and the Estates & Facilities Directorates.


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