College of Business Cold Rooms Art

As part of our initiative called Curious Cornhuskers, an anonymous reader asked The Daily Nebraskan, “Why are the College of Business classrooms always so cold? I wear my winter coat throughout my classes I have there because it is freezing.”

The heating system implemented in Howard L. Hawks Hall was done so for environmentally friendly purposes, according to Rik Barrera, College of Business associate dean of student services and chief operating officer.

“Our eco-friendly building has a heating and cooling system that continually brings fresh air from outside into the classrooms and other areas of the building,” he said. “Throughout the day, it replaces the carbon dioxide emitted when students, faculty, staff and visitors occupy the spaces.”

The air is then heated as it is brought into the building, allowing a pleasant contrast between the temperate inside of the building and the freezing outdoor temperatures, according to Barrera.

Thermostat controls are located in each room in the building, allowing visitors to set the temperature for the room between 70 and 74 degrees, Barrera said. However, this only applies when a room is in use.

“If a room is unoccupied for a length of time, the temperature will automatically set to a lower temperature to conserve energy,” he said.

Rooms that are not in use require less energy. If certain classrooms remain unoccupied for a certain amount of time, the temperature will begin to drop below the 70- to 74-degree range. 

Latjor Tot, a freshman actuarial science major, suggests wearing extra layers to combat brisk classroom temperatures.

“I don’t think [the classrooms] are that cold considering I’m wearing cold-weather gear in general,” Tot said. “Wear a sweater in the classrooms, and it’s normal temp.”

Tot said he has one class in Hawks Hall this semester. Older buildings like Henzlik and Oldfather halls have colder classrooms than the College of Business, Tot said. 

The heating and cooling system in the College of Business both clarifies the air in the building and reduces the university’s carbon footprint, Barrera said. 

“We’re trying to be as energy-efficient as possible.”