Rocky Mountain Institute's New HQ Cuts Central Heat and A/C Without Compromising Comfort
The design team considered a host of factors that affect personal comfort: interior air speed, humidity, employee clothing and activity levels, and radiant surface temperatures. The architects virtually eliminated the cold air that radiates from poorly insulated walls and windows, for instance. And RMI gave employees much greater control over their own comfort (all the various factors are calculated and monitored by an online “thermal comfort tool”). On winter days, they are likely to be wearing sweaters or fleece. In the summer, some will opt for shorts and short-sleeve shirts. (It helps that RMI has a casual office culture.) Because workers are not tethered to specific desks or cubicles, they can move to different parts of the building depending on where they’re most comfortable. An employee who tends to get cold might opt for a spot close to the south-facing windows.