The Surprising Reason Your Office Is So Cold
It turns out, it's not just you who thinks your office feels like the Arctic.
The whole phenomenon of chilly, air conditioned office spaces stems from gender differences in metabolic rates, The New York Times reports.
According to a study published Monday by the Nature Climate Change journal, the majority of office buildings are set to temperatures based on a formula conjured up decades ago that use the metabolic rates of men as the basis. The study proposed that "reducing gender-discriminating bias in thermal comfort" to warmer temperatures could also help tackle global warming.
The study explained that most buildings follow a "thermal comfort model" from the 1960s, which takes into account things like air temperature, air speed, vapor pressure and clothing insulation.
"In a lot of buildings, you see energy consumption is a lot higher because the standard is calibrated for men's body heat production," noted Boris Kingma, co-author of the study and biophysicist at Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands. He continued stating, "If you have a more accurate view of the thermal demand of the people inside, then you can design the building so that you are wasting a lot less energy, and that means the carbon dioxide emission is less.”
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