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How West Coast universities, colleges grapple with ‘literal overheating’ of buildings amid recent heat wave

Published on November 3, 2022

Aerial photograph of the University of Washington Seattle campus
Aerial photograph of the University of Washington Seattle campus Image Credit: University of Washington

The historic heat wave that sweltered the West in early September, breaking records and straining California’s power grid, forced colleges and universities across the region to further assess extreme heat events.

College campuses, specifically students and faculty on the West Coast, struggled with the intense heat wave. They have warned their communities of the excessive heat but high temperatures highlighted issues of campus infrastructure.

Many campus buildings at the University of Washington were designed to be reliant on passive and natural ventilation strategies, according to university spokesperson Victor Balta. Only in recent years has mechanical cooling been implemented in larger campus spaces.

Balta said climate change has modified the university’s need for cooling and the university has new design conditions for the next few decades that account for prolonged heat events.

Continue reading at USA Today.

Originally written by Thao Nguyen at USA Today.
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