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In general terms every employer (Cardiff University included) has a legal responsibility under the Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992 to ensure that "During working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable". In practice this means that the temperature in workrooms should provide "reasonable" comfort without the need for special clothing. The temperature in workrooms should normally be at least 16 degrees Celsius. The regulations do not state an upper temperature limit, however supplementary guidance would suggest that employers should endeavour to do all that is reasonably practicable to maintain temperatures to a level not exceeding 30 degrees Celsius.

Where general cooling is provided, the cooling will only operate to an absolute minimum internal space temperature of 24 degrees Celsius.

The Estates Division maintain and operate all fixed room temperature cooling equipment (but not manufacturers' own process cooling equipment).

Where machinery or process equipment requires cooling equipment to be installed, this shall be installed at a direct cost to the College requesting it and maintained in accordance with the University’s comfort cooling policy. The policy assessment will take into account the needs due to process rather than comfort in the scoring mechanism. The Estates division will maintain and operate all room cooling equipment for the process (not manufacturers’ specific cooling equipment). End-of life/beyond economical repair replacements is not be part of the Estates maintenance and operating costs.

Comfort cooling is generally only provided during normal working hours Monday to Friday 8:30 to 5pm where the external ambient space temperature rises above 27 degrees Celsius. Machinery or process cooling will be operated on a demand basis and temperatures set for the upper acceptable range of the equipment operating range.

The Sustainability Working Group has approved a cooling document (see Related Resources 09/647R) for comfort cooling systems that is to be adopted. N.B. – machinery or process cooling will utilise the same process and annual charges for installation, operation, maintenance and replacements (e.g. specialist process cooling for an item of machinery or LAN room machine cooling).

Requests for cooling should be made to the Estates hotline on 74477 and the Comfort Cooling Document shall be used to complete the assessment process.

Portable cooling units are not permitted due to the increase electrical loads imposed upon the University system as well as the increased risks from Legionellosis.

Related Resources