Masdar Penguins Campaign
The low lab temperatures have been perennial issue at Masdar Institute, but with the recent launch of the 1B, it has escalated to unprecedented levels.
There have been numerous requests by students to increase the lab temperatures, as it makes working in the lab uncomfortable. We all know how many emails we have sent to facilities to raise the temperature in our lab areas. Just myself I have sent 10 requests in the last 2 weeks, without any resolution. Sometimes the temperatures hit a low in which typing becomes impossible. Students try to circumvent this by wearing sweaters, gloves and covering themselves in blankets. And in the meantime, we are all wondering that there must be a better solution than this…
As background information, the building temperatures across all Masdar Institute are controlled by an interface called the BMS aka the Building Management System with limited success. This is the reason why temperatures cannot be adjusted from wall thermostats (more than that, the 1A buildings only have displays). Temperatures of individual regions physically close to each other need to be within a certain gradient, and this is limited to roughly areas of size around pods in 1A, but the resolution is much higher in 1B. Likewise a common raise of the building temperature is needed in 1A, but is the preferred solution for 1B too. Furthermore, you must know that building management is handled by Masdar City, therefore, the Institute leadership is not involved. On top of the complexity of the issue, Facilities has been notoriously hard to communicate with.
In 1B wall thermostats often indicate temperatures beginning with 17, with 19 or 20 °C being common. This is not just annoying and prohibitively expensive but unhealthy as well. Multiple studies (1, 2, 3, 4 - desert environment specifically) suggest that any optimal indoor temperature is between 19-24 °C. Maximum working productivity is usually reached between 21 and 23 °C, on average, with some studies indicating 25 °C as the optimum (5). Furthermore, we are supposed to be a sustainable and energy-efficient institute, spending significantly less energy on building cooling would only increase our credibility and strengthen our adherence to our mission. Considering these points, and adding the location of Abu Dhabi and its outside temperatures, the high-end of the above mentioned temperature spectrum seems a reasonable target. This move would also be justified economically: as the energy required for cooling increases non-linearly, substantial cost savings could be obtained and the funds could diverted for other causes (e.g. to support student initiatives or the worker and cleaner community). Raising the ambient temperature just by a few degrees can result in energy cost reductions of up to 30% (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).
On top of all this, the constant noise (not just the background fan noise, but especially the “thunders” of on-off cycles in 1B) coming from the AC further decreases the quality of the working environment. The current lab conditions greatly hinder our academic work, any kind of work and this should not be the case, as this is only a technical problem and a fast and easy solution is possible for it.
Therefore I have created a petition, which I invite you to dully sign and I take the responsibility to raise the issue in question to the Institute management and take it further to Masdar City management, and even Masdar management, if deemed necessary. The real value of Masdar Institute lies in its students, and especially in its student community. Let us unite for a common cause and have our voice heard! Let’s end the penguin era!
Graduate Research Assistant
Sociotechnical Sustainable Transitions Research Group
Engineering Systems & Management Program
Masdar Institute of Science and Technology - Abu Dhabi
+971 55 6183205 +40 744 772756
[email protected] [email protected]
Petition to Masdar City Facilities Management Team
Raise working environment temperature by 2-3 °C across all buildings.
The Masdar Institute Community, the only current permanent tenants of Masdar City
This petition closed over 3 years ago
I support raising the issue in question to the Institute management and take it further to Masdar City management, and even Masdar management, if deemed necessary. The real value of Masdar...
I support raising the issue in question to
the Institute management and take it further to Masdar City management, and
even Masdar management, if deemed necessary. The real value of Masdar Institute
lies in its students, and especially in its student community. Let us unite for
a common cause and have our voice heard! Let's end the penguin era!