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This is possible, but in most reasonably modern buildings, the HVAC system monitors temperatures at many points in the structure, and adjusts so that the right amount of air at the right temperature is fed into each small zone until the target temperature there is reached.

It's possible for systems to get overwhelmed (I notice that my building gets a little off-kilter when there's a big outside temperature swing), but in general the facilities guys would rate the inability to keep the whole building at target temperature as a failure. It shouldn't be a natural state for a substantial modern building.

I'm going with the clothing as the answer. The buildings I have worked in have the heating and cooling systems fairly localized. A well-dressed man wears long sleeves (or whatever he feels like wearing) while a well-dressed woman wears a sun dress or whatever fashion dictates.

Ryan - o.k., clearly I don't work in a reasonably modern building! In Loeb there's a big temperature difference between the north and south facing offices. And if the buildings are smart enough to get the right amount of air at the right temperature into each small zone, why can't the thermostats be adjusted so that the temperature in female-dominated office spaces is warmer? There is sufficient occupational segregation to make this viable.

khodge - the clothing story is definitely part of it, especially sandals v. shoes. But my office was at about 65 degrees the other day (they've cranked up the AC because otherwise the AC starts leaking and I get water dripping through the ceiling into the office). That's long underwear temperature.

Did you know that in Taiwan there is a legal restriction on the amount of AC that can be used - buildings can't be cooled down further than somewhere in the mid-70s, I think.

"women burn energy more slowly, so feel colder at any given temperature than men do"

I didn't know that. Perhaps I should feel embarrassed. Is it strictly because of average body mass? Or is there something else going on there?

This is a great opening for men with cold blooded exes to make a joke... I can't claim I have one of those, so I'll restrain myself.

At my office there aren't may women with windows. There aren't many women at all. I can only think of two that have South facing windows. I have a West facing window but I keep the drapes drawn, else the sun shines in my eyes in the afternoon.

65 does seem a bit cool...I came across this article a couple of months ago, though:

I seem to remember reading that women respond differently to being cold. Something about blood flow being preferentially directed away from extremities to reproductive organs. Men's reproductive organs are on the outside precisely because they must be cooler, so we don't get cold hands, feet, etc as easily due to blood rushing to ... other places.

Come to think of it, I wonder if men turning-up the heat in their office correlates with violations of IT appropriate use policies...

That's an interesting thesis. I don't share Ryan's faith in the efficacy of modern HVAC systems - I'm a pudgy guy who wears a suit in his window office and I'M usually cold in the summer.

"A well-dressed man wears long sleeves (OR WHATEVER HE FEELS LIKE WEARING) while a well-dressed woman wears a sun dress or whatever fashion dictates."

Interesting, I think you'll find that men's clothing choice is far more constrained than that of woman. To paraphrase Henry Ford, mean can wear whatever they want, provided its a suit (or, at more casual places, slacks and golf shirts).

Having not worked in a high-rise office building in a long time, I will say that your conjecture fits my experience (the building in which I worked was built in the late 1960s). My office faced southwest; the thermostat for that quadrant of the floor was in my office. The clerical staff worked in a space with no windows (something I thought was odd then, and think now is completely wrong). My office was always too hot; their workspace was always too cold--summer and winter. (I had hoped that things would be different in more recently constructed buildings.)

Bob: "I think you'll find that men's clothing choice is far more constrained than that of woman" - agreed. And female summer fashion does allow for a number of warmer clothing shortages - e.g. white cashmere cardigans.

Donald - Perhaps it is different in more recently constructed buildings, but my 1970s building is pretty bad.

Regarding the closed thread: "Are Technology and Learning joint inputs?",
the best way to prevent AI is to slow down and stop diamond semiconductor R+D now and in the future.
At worst it is a red herring, but it is likely this is the easiest way to prevent Judgment Day.

In downtown Vancouver, the prime offices are usually those facing north because those provide the view of Burrard Inlet and North Shore mountains, so I would say this reasoning wouldn't hold for Vancouver.

Dress and metabolism seem like more reasonable reasons to me.

Mark - But do people even complaining about super-cold AC a Vancouver? Vancouver doesn't have the summer heat or, more importantly, the summer humidity. My impression is that it's more a central Canadian phenomenon. I haven't lived in Vancouver for a long time, but I never experienced serious indoor cold until I moved out east.

If women don't complain about summer cold in Vancouver, then it's not a useful data point.

My female and male coworkers all work in the same room on the north side, with little solar heating, and we're all either fine or too cold. We usually agree.

Dress codes can adapt.
I remember, in te late 70's, working in the Québec civil service. A lot of men came working in short ( a suit kept in reserve if a sudden meeting with a deputy minister was called though most of them were on vacation). Early 80's, as a business reporter, it was very casual (long trousers but no tie.)

I don't notice the article discussing what happens in the winter, which would seem relevant re energy use. Heating in the winter typically consumes more energy than cooling in summer, I think. Maintaining a warmer indoor temperature would imply higher energy consumption in that case.

Here we have a potential productivity related problem where you can actually collect some real and accurate data easily and on the cheap. You will buy, say, 5 USB Thermometer/Hygrometer units at $20 a piece at amazon.ca
They will sit in various offices of colleagues, and collect data, which will be automatically sent to a central database. This technology is cheap, and common place, because rooms where servers are kept must be at a constant temperature to ensure optimal performance, and these USB units are often used for that. Combine this with outside temperatures, plus readings from the central HVAC system, plus small program on the desktop that occasionally pops up and asks, "How do you feel", and perhaps that all ads up to some good data.

A nice project for a student who enjoys data wrangling and knows a bit of coding perhaps? But, what is the economics angle here? Good data, no model, no fun.

Any ideas...?

One thing people sometimes forget about AC. It also dehumidifies so the intake air is over cooled to below the dew point so the water comes out of the air.

As long as AC is being used to control humidity, you do notbsave by setting tbe target temperature a bit higher.

Also, sometimes AC is for the computer equipment. The COO of google describes himself as a glorified HVAC operator.

I buy the corner window idea. I also buy the clothing idea. I typically wear shorts amd sandals in summer and often bring a sweatshirt even on hot days.

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