Productivity measured in BTU/hr

It has been exceedingly hot here in NYC. And we are not alone. I understand that something similar has been transpiring up and down this Eastern coastline.

Fortunately, we work in a University that is very good at providing air conditioning. I think it is not a coincidence that so many people are here in the lab, working away during the summer break.

I suspect this is part of a larger trend: people who choose to work longer hours in air conditioned offices on a super hot summer day. I suspect that for every BTU/hr spent on air conditioning, summer office productivity rises by a quantifiable amount.

I wonder whether anybody has ever calculated the positive effects of office air conditioning on summer productivity.

2 Responses to “Productivity measured in BTU/hr”

  1. J. Peterson says:

    A couple years ago I visited some electronics factories in southern China as part of a tour. It was during the summer, when it’s incredibly hot and muggy there. The workers in most of the factories had to sweat it out – but one of them was pleasantly air-conditioned.

    Later it occurred to us the air-conditioning was -not- for the employee’s benefit; it was to reduce humidity and temperature fluctuations that would have affected the quality of the tiny electronic components they were making.

  2. Al says:

    There is definitely an optimum. I just spent the day in an office where the air conditioning was a bit too powerful. I spent the whole time with my jumper on and others had jackets on!

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