Building Temperature Policy

Approved by the President
October 22, 2013

Policy Contacts
Director of Facilities Operations, Office of Facilities, Safety, and Physical Plant Department

Questions related to the sustainability goals of SUNY Oneonta should be directed to:
Office of Sustainability

Policy Statement

Building temperatures will be set at 70° F during the heating season and 76° F during the cooling season during occupied hours.


A policy is necessary for two reasons. First, it establishes a standard expectation that guides the Facilities Department when responding to complaints. Secondly, the policy supports SUNY Oneonta’s Climate Action Plan. Setting heating and cooling temperatures for buildings during occupied and unoccupied hours will help SUNY Oneonta work towards its energy reduction goal.

Applicability of the Policy

This policy applies to all campus buildings. Exceptions will be made by the Director of Facilities Operations Plant for spaces that require a different level of environmental control (e.g., server rooms, laboratories, etc.). Exceptions will also apply when we are contractually or legally required to curtail our energy consumption during peak times.

Policy Elaboration

The target temperatures are consistent with the American National Standards Institute/American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Standard 55-2004, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy.

The goal of this policy is to maintain temperatures close to these set points, yet due to the age of the buildings on campus, it is difficult to control temperatures at the individual room level. Building users may experience a range of temperatures between 68°-74° F degrees during the heating season and 73°-79° F during the cooling season.

Space heaters and portable A/C units are prohibited due to fire code, safety issues, and energy conservation mandates. In limited situations, the Facilities Department may permit space heaters or portable A/C units if building systems cannot provide temperatures within acceptable ranges stated above.


Cooling and Heating Seasons

Cooling season is from late May to early October and heating season is from mid-October to early May. During the changeover between seasons, some buildings may be cooled or heated even though the outside air temperature may not require it. This is because it is not always feasible for the HVAC systems to alternate between cooling and heating on a daily basis. However, during these transitional periods, the outside air temperature is usually mild and space temperatures are expected to be within the comfort range.

Occupied and Unoccupied Hours

Occupied hours are defined as Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for most offices on campus. In order to accommodate extended building schedules and activities, the occupied hours are extended up to 10 p.m. and may include weekends for certain areas such as Hunt Union, Milne Library, Alumni Field House, Fine Arts and various classrooms and laboratories. All 15 Residence Halls are considered occupied 24/7. SUNY Oneonta’s Energy Management System will automatically reduce air-handling systems in unoccupied spaces after hours to reduce building energy consumption.


If an occupant is uncomfortable and believes that the temperature is outside the acceptable range stated above, they should call the Facilities Department at x2507. A representative from the Facilities Department will measure the actual temperature of occupant’s space and attempt to adjust the temperature if it is outside the acceptable range.

Related Documents / Policies

Climate Action Plan

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