11.27 / HVAC Systems Standards

  1. Purpose

    As the number of campus facilities Wichita State University continue to grow and expand, it is important that efforts are made to minimize environmental impacts and maximize opportunities for efficiency. The following HVAC System Standards are being implemented at WSU in order to provide adequate energy resources to maintain normal campus activities and to encourage the university community to use energy more efficiently.

  2. Applicability

    This policy applies to all facilities owned by WSU, occupied by WSU pursuant to a lease or occupancy agreement, or operated by WSU (“WSU Facilities”), however it is recognized that each location may have unique factors, which could necessitate alternate actions as determined by the WSU Facilities Services department.

  3. Policy Statement

    Unless otherwise directed by Facilities Services or senior management, the following set points shall be administered:

    1. Thermostat Set Points

      The Energy Management System (EMS) team within the WSU Facilities Services department monitors and maintains the temperatures in most WSU Facilities via electronic HVAC control systems.  This gives the Facilities Services staff the ability to see real-time temperature data, make adjustments and often to address HVAC equipment or temperature issues before they are noticed by WSU Facilities occupants. In most cases, Facilities Services schedules night and weekend temperature setbacks in WSU Facilities during unoccupied hours in order to reduce energy consumption during low-demand periods. The temperature set points fall within the range suggested by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) based on the average relative humidity for our area. The temperature of each classroom or office is measured at the calibrated wall thermostat.

    2. Seasonal Temperature Policy

      1. Heating Season

        Winter heating temperatures will be set at a maximum range of 68°F during occupied hours and maintained above 67°F. The temperature will be set back to 60°F during unoccupied hours.

      2. Cooling Season

        Summer thermostat settings will be set at a minimum range of 76°F during occupied hours and maintained below 78°F. Temperatures will be set up to 80-85°F during unoccupied hours. Occupants in WSU Facilities with authorized window air conditioners shall set daytime temperatures to 76°F and turn units up or off when leaving at the end of the day.

    3. Reporting Temperature Variances

      Areas that are either too hot or too cold should be reported as soon as possible to Facilities Services by placing a work order request online so the concern can be addressed. Consideration will be given to all circumstances, including but not limited to whether the temperature falls within the accepted range for occupancy and whether the room is being used in a manner for which it was designed.

    4. Facility Scheduling

      Every attempt will be made to accommodate special events, class schedule changes and other changes to the HVAC system occupancy schedules when requested.

      1. Classroom Scheduling

        It is expected that energy efficiency and energy cost savings are also taken into consideration when scheduling classes and other activities.

      2. Temporary Adjustments for Special Events

        Normal hours of operation for most campus office and administrative areas are 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Friday, closed on the weekends. Anyone needing changes to the heating and cooling schedule outside of normal hours of operation should submit a work order to Facilities Services prior to the event (two weeks notification encouraged) with 24 hours notification required for weekday schedules. Requests for changes to the weekend schedule must be received by 8:00 AM the prior Friday.

    5. Closure

      During periods when normal campus operations are suspended (e.g. winter break, Thanksgiving break, etc.) Facilities Services may conduct a “hard shut down” of select University Facilities. Normal operating temperatures will be maintained in exempt areas such as research labs, IT, etc. The following actions will be taken by Facilities Services as part of this procedure:

      1. Building Temperature

        During the winter heating season, space temperatures will be allowed to drop to the established unoccupied set point. During the summer cooling season, space temperatures will be allowed to rise to the unoccupied set point. Only specific, documented temperature requirements in exempt areas may supersede the unoccupied limits.

      2. Lighting

        Facilities Services may be directed to turn off WSU Facilities lights entirely or dim them to the lowest level required for safety purposes.

      3. Personal Appliances and Office Equipment

        Office equipment (except for computers) and authorized personal appliances (e.g. window air conditioning units, televisions, printers, coffee makers, etc.) must be unplugged by occupants before leaving for break. Refrigerators will be allowed to remain running for food safety and sanitary purposes. Facilities Services is authorized to unplug any items if occupants fail to do so.

    6. Auxiliary Heating and Cooling Mechanisms

      Space heaters and personal air conditioning units are not allowed on campus due to their excessive energy consumption and the hazards they could pose. Unauthorized space heaters violate fire code. Please refer to WSU Policy 11.20 / Space Heaters for more information on the use of space heaters.

    7. Ventilation

      Exterior doors are designed to be kept closed at all times in order to maintain proper temperature set points and pressure balances. Operable windows in many cases are the source of cold and hot conditions within spaces, especially while left open and unattended. Furnishings shall not block and vents or heating elements. Devices that emit hot or cooled air (such as copiers, refrigerators, coffee pots, etc.) cannot be placed near thermostats.

    8. Fume Hoods

      Fume hoods should be operated in a manner that reduces energy consumption while following all safety guidelines. Sashes must be closed to the lowest safe level when fume hoods are in use and closed completely whenever workstations are unoccupied. Fume hood adjustment issues or operational failures should be reported immediately to Facilities Services at 316-978-3444.