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Don’t Sweat It: Facility Tips to Survive a Heat Wave


By Greg Zimmerman Emergency Preparedness
hot city buildings

As a nasty heat wave descends upon much of the country this weekend, experts have some tips for facility managers to be prepared for the extreme temperatures. 

For instance, Columbia University Facilities Management and Campus Services offers a whole list of tips for extreme heat, including keeping HVAC setpoints at 78 degrees, making sure all windows are securely closed and locked, and turning off all copiers, computer monitors not in use, and any other non-essential office equipment. 

The University of Nebraska also published a list facility managers can share with their occupants to make sure they’re helping keep facilities cool. The list includes lowering lighting levels, keeping shades and blinds closed, and reducing every plug load (like coffee makers, chargers, and even fans) because they all create waste heat that needs to be dealt with by the facility’s already hard-working HVAC system. 

Use common sense regarding outdoor maintenance tasks. It might not be the best day to do a roof inspection or even complete your regular mowing or grounds maintenance. Those can always be rescheduled and staff time reassigned. OSHA provides several tips for health and safety of workers in extreme heat. 

This Quick Read was submitted by Greg Zimmerman, executive editor, Building Operating Management. Read his cover story on how buildings are tackling climate change.

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