The building temperature protocol sets limits for heating and cooling across the College estate

Further information

Find out more

  • Contact your Building Manager to find out more about the building temperature protocol.

Report it

Legal requirements

  • Read the Guidance Note: Workplace Temperature (pdf) - setting out the legal requirements relating to temperature of the workplace and providing advice on the course of action to be taken in periods of hot weather.

The protocol contributes to the College’s aim to reduce its carbon emissions. The Carbon Trust estimates that turning down heating by 1°C could save 8% of these emissions.

What does it mean?

Heating will be delivered within 2°C of 20°C. In those areas where cooling is provided, temperatures will not be cooled below 24°C, +/- 2°C. Where controlled environments are imperative to support teaching and research, existing regimes will be maintained. The protocol has been endorsed by Heads of Faculties and Support Services.

Managing the environment in College buildings

Room temperature guidance for academic and office areas:

  • The College operates a standard protocol for the heating and cooling of its buildings in order to meet our obligations to reduce carbon emissions, in accordance with current HEFCE and Government objectives.
  • This supports the College’s Carbon strategy and endorsed for implementation by the Carbon Management Board.
  • The College recognises that the conservation of energy is an area where a major effort is needed to reduce global warming and to preserve the earth’s resources.
  • Effective and efficient working environments need to be managed correctly to obtain both financial and productive performance.
  • The College will continue to maintain temperature controlled environments for academic processes and where controlled conditions are imperative for practical teaching and research or where there is a need to protect delicate contents (e.g. archives, musical instrument stores, art collections etc.). Such areas will have been agreed and designed to meet the specific temperature parameters required.

Operating times

  • Standard air supply and heating will be provided to College buildings Monday to Friday from 08.30hrs to 18.00hrs.
  • At weekends and outside of the standard operational hours, air volumes will be reduced to a lower but safe level, and temperatures will reduced to ‘trace’ heating levels.


  • Heating will be provided according to need in order to meet a generally acceptable standard. The standard is defined as that to deliver a temperature of 20°C during normal working hours, usually within +/- 2°C. Heating will not be available on days when the expected outside weather temperature is above 16°C.
  • The introduction of additional heat sources by individuals or sections is not permitted unless agreed with the Department and registered with the Estates Operations Customer Services Centre. Estates Operations can supply temporary additional heating as necessary and will look at the feasibility to rectify poor conditions in the longer term.


  • The vast majority of rooms will not be temperature controlled during the peak summer period. Occupants are requested to make their best endeavours to cope at times of peak outside temperatures by applying advice provided by our Safety Department.
  • Those environments which do benefit from temperature control will not be cooled lower than 24°C or 22°C only where the particular process dictates, usually within +/- 2°C. Cooling will generally operate during normal working hours only.
  • The College desires to lead in sustainability performance and to set social responsibility standards. Therefore based on national guidance and recommendations relating to indoor temperatures exceeding 28°C, we will consider the provision of cooling only when 4.6% of annual occupied hours exceeds 28°C, i.e. 120 hours / annum.
  • Where direct expansion (DX) units are installed to provide comfort cooling to offices, seminar rooms and other non-research spaces, these will be fitted with controls which allow them to operate for one hour, after which they will switch off until reactivated by the room occupant.
  • The introduction of additional cooling sources by individuals or sections is not permitted unless agreed with the Department and registered with the Estates Operations Customer Services Centre to ensure that the necessary cooling criteria is maintained. Estates Operations can supply temporary additional cooling as necessary and will look at the feasibility of rectifying poor conditions in the longer term.
  • Any problems regarding heating or cooling should to be reported to Estates Operations through the Customer Services Centre, so that appropriate action can be taken.

Please follow this link for workplace temperature guidance for individuals and managers.