As the temperature begins to dip, Concordia has begun to brace itself for the winter cold by turning up the heat a little early this year.
According to the director of engineering and building performance Yves Gilbert, heating systems have been in the works since September. Gilbert explained that as soon as the weather begins to cool down the heating system is put into effect. He also mentioned that both campuses are usually heated around the same time, but it’s not the campus that determines if the heating is on or off.
“It all depends on the building,” said Gilbert. “Some buildings are not as insulated as others and it also depends on the ventilation system in that building. Every building is different and the standard temperature of a building is the governing factor if and when the heating will be on.”
This explains why students can be seen wrapped up in scarves and layers both outside and within some of the campuses’ colder classrooms. Political science student Vanessa Kuchta spends most of her days at the Sir George Williams campus and says she struggles between keeping her coat on or off.
“It’s strange because some buildings are perfectly warm, and I’m comfortable, but others are still very cold and I tend to keep my jacket on,” she said.
The standard temperature for all buildings on campus is determined by an index from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, an international technical society that develops heating and cooling standards.
According to Gilbert, the standard temperatures for a building during the winter are between 20 to 23.5 C. Most of Concordia’s buildings are heated by natural gas, while others are electrically heated.
Although some of the older buildings might feel like they have no insulation, Concordia spends a pretty penny on keeping their students warm.
“We had a mild winter last year, and it showed in our heating costs,” Gilbert said. “We spent $1.8 million on heating the last fiscal year,” adding that this represented a 15 per cent decrease from a typical year.
Unfortunately, the cold weather seems to have come early this year and if Montreal experiences a normal winter, Concordia will spend roughly $2.3 million on heating for both campuses.