Monday, December 07, 2009

I smell an opportunity for gandhian engineering

Some genius found that central air conditioning is an energy hog, and it would be a good idea to air condition only specific areas. There's no point in chilling a corridor to a bone chilling 16C when it's 40C outside.

If you want to jump around in temperatures close to 16C, do it at your desk. Just provide vents near the desks to keep them as comfy as you want, and warm up the remainder of the office to a warmer temperature of, say 23C, which is fairly comfortable.

I would go one step farther. If you have to air-condition corridors, lobbies and restrooms, make them as close as possible to the outside temperature as comfort will allow. If it's a 35C day, then having the lobby at 27C would not be such a bad deal. It it's a cold day on the outside (say 2 or 3C), then 15-16C would be a good idea. You can keep your desk at a toasty 23C if you feel like it.

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