On campus this month: creating better places to study and work

We had an amazing Green Week and we hope you did too.

Work to reduce the University’s carbon emissions doesn’t stop there. Over the next few weeks, we will be making improvements to how some of our buildings are heated. Many of you have spoken to our team about this issue; we have listened to what you said and we are taking action as a direct result.

Getting our timing right

We are adjusting the times that the heating comes on and off in our buildings, so that we’re heating space when buildings are occupied. This work will happen behind the scenes, so you won’t see it – you might feel the improvement though, as buildings stay warm when you need them. We’re investing in making changes in fifteen buildings on Whiteknights Campus over the next few weeks to improve comfort and to cut our carbon emissions.

Getting in the zone

As well as looking at the timer settings for our buildings, we’ll be looking at where heating comes on. Different parts of buildings are often occupied at different times, so it’s wasteful to be heating the whole space when we don’t need to.

Taking control

Some of our older heating systems are set up with just a few sensors and thermostats in a building. If you have a sensor in your office or lecture theatre, the heating will be working to provide you with the right temperature. If you’re at the other end of the building to a sensor, it may be that your heating is being dictated by the temperature in a completely different area.

We’ll be visiting a number of buildings to install additional sensors to give us better control of the heating in different spaces. During February and March, you’ll see our teams in:

  • Agriculture
  • Harborne
  • Harry Pitt
  • ICMA and the ICMA Extension
  • JJ Thomson
  • Knight
  • Meteorology and the Psychology / Meteorology Link
  • Philip Lyle
  • Russell
  • Systems Engineering

Come and say hello!

Play your part!

There are some things that you can do to help make sure offices, classrooms, lecture theatres, labs and other spaces are as comfortable as possible:

  • Let us know if you are too hot or too cold – we can’t fix problems if we don’t know about them! Please email sustainability@reading.ac.uk or call the Maintenance Helpdesk on 0118 378 7000 if your building is persistently uncomfortable.
  • Don’t use your own heater – using an electric heater in your office can make the temperature sensors think the building is warm enough, so the main heating system switches off for a while. You might be nice and cosy, but other people will be shivering…
  • Close windows when you’re done – fresh air is great, particularly after a heavy lecture, but if you’re using a room before lunch or at the end of the day, please close windows once you’re done to keep the heat in.

Thanks for reading, and for playing your part in helping us create better places to work and learn.