All entries for Monday 25 September 2006

September 25, 2006

another technical malfunction

It’s now getting difficult to concentrate – the heat’s building up due to air conditioning failing. If there was one thing to prove that open plan offices are a complete non-starter (and there are many things that prove that) the most undeniable has to be the complete incompetence of this place to get the air conditioning sorted. It doesn’t work on really hot days and goes into overdrive on cold days. During the winter it’s like being in a wind tunnel. It’s got to be a health and safety issue, but everyone ignores it. One of the advantages of being able to work at home occasionally is that it gives my respiratory system chance to recover from sitting in a constant draught.

I seem to remember – years ago – windows were designed so you could open them. It’s a great idea. When it’s too hot you open the window, when it’s too cold you close it. If it got really cold you get a fan heater to warm the place up. The great thing about it was that it was simple, it worked, and you could control it. Once you remove the control people have over their environment, that’s when things fall apart. Plus environmentally all the energy that’s wasted is incredible. In winter, when the aircon’s on full, we have to sit here with fan heaters pumping heat in to compensate for the chill factor of the aircon. Where’s the sense in that?

To be fair – it’s not just University House that suffers from this. I was in the Custard Factory last week, and there was one spot in the meeting room that was about 10 degrees colder than the surroundings because it was directly under the aircon vent. You’d think if people were going to insist on installing and using the technology they’d think of a way to get it to work first. You’d think.


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