Can you guess the number one complaint about buildings?
Think about your experiences within buildings from your office to the movie theater. What is your number one gripe? Do you agree with our number one?
If you answer "the temperature is too cold or too warm," you are in line with our experience. IFMA (International Facility Management Association) completed a survey and found thermal comfort issues even outweighed “high noise levels, limited space, and unpleasant odors”. More than half of those office workers who complain modify the conditions by bringing in their own fans, heaters, or even wearing gloves.
Seems like the most common way to deal with the complaints is for staff to check out the mechanical setttings, inform people things have been checked, and visit them later to see how they are doing. The funny thing is half the time no changes were ever made to the system, but people felt better thinking changes were made.
Jeff Buscher, Design/Construction Manager at Meredith, confirms the number one complaint. Jeff says “Heating and cooling is why people usually contact us. People sense temperature differently since they vary so much in age and body types. Distribution is also an issue since ceiling diffusers are spaced apart. If you are sitting directly under a diffuser your conditions are different than the person sitting ten feet away.” Jeff also added “Sometimes after a complaint, we find the mechanical system is clearly not working right.”
What I have learned is, if you don’t let those in charge of your environment know you are uncomfortable, you will continue to be uncomfortable.