Thermal Comfort

temperature2Thermal Comfort

Campus Thermal Comfort Strategy

UOW has a large stock of buildings of varying age, type, usage and ventilation systems. Overall approximately 77% of habitable spaces (such as offices and Common Teaching Areas) are air conditioned based on Gross Floor Area (GFA) as at the end of 2016. This equates to approximately 20,600m2 of area that is not air conditioned, of which not all require air conditioning.

Consultation has occurred with faculties and divisions, WH&S and representatives from CTA spaces to summarise the issues and identify key priority areas for consideration for air conditioning and non-air-conditioning (passive treatments).

Provision has been made under the Capital Management Plan for ongoing priority retrofitting and treatment.

Priority areas have been analysed against the university strategic priorities, UOW Master Plan and WH&S concerns.

Concept estimates have been developed to retrofit or enhance HVAC systems to improve thermal comfort in these areas.

A programme of works is currently being developed and will be published and periodically updated on the WHS and FMD websites.

We are also working to identify any disadvantaged groups that may be unlikely to receive any short to medium term improvement (as their building may be noted for immanent replacement) and investigate low cost comfort cooling strategies for these groups.

Thermal comfort can also be augmented via behavioural actions in line with UOW Thermal Comfort Guidelines:

  • Dressing appropriately for the conditions
  • Rescheduling work or particular tasks to cooler times of the day
  • Using fans and opening doors, windows and vents where practical
  • Alternate working arrangements on extreme days
  • Rescheduling work or particular tasks to cooler times of the day
  • Seeking ‘Respite Spaces’ on campus on extreme days.


The information below provides guidance on safely managing work in hot and cold environments.

Thermal Comfort Guidelines 


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Last reviewed: 9 March, 2017