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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

A/C stays off in heat

Published: March 30, 2012
Section: News

After a brief spell of 80-degree weather, the temperature plunged back into the 30s and 40s, necessitating the return of the heating system on campus. It takes two weeks for the university to prepare the air conditioning equipment, according to Associate Vice President for Facilities Peter Shields.

“The biggest effort is preparing the cooling towers that are used to eject the heat from the buildings,” Shields wrote in an e-mail to The Hoot. The university briefly considered turning on the air conditioning but, given the short notice of the heat wave and the anticipated return to normal temperatures, administrators decided not to switch from heating to cooling.

A number of individuals reported medical complications due to the heat and portable fans were brought to “help provide some comfort,” Shields wrote. Most students reveled in the sun, scattering on the lawns for the brief sunny days.

After the temperatures dropped at the beginning of the weekend, heat was restored, a relatively simple process if the AC has not begun to change over. “Most of the campus is controlled by the Siemens Building Management System,” Shields wrote, and if the cooling towers have not begun to be prepared to eject heat from the buildings, turning the heat back on takes little time. With temperatures predicted at no more than 60 degrees in the near future, the air conditioning will remain off for now.