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Working Conditions: Temperature

Volume 488: debated on Monday 23 February 2009

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what the (a) highest and (b) lowest temperature measured in the Churchill Room and nearby areas during working hours were between November 2008 and January 2009; what steps are taken in exceptionally cold weather to provide additional heating in the House, with particular reference to the Churchill Room; and what recent representations have been made by (i) House staff and (ii) customers about the temperature in the Churchill Room. (257381)

The highest temperature recorded in the Churchill Room—on numerous occasions—between November 2008 and January 2009 was 21 degrees centigrade. The lowest temperature during the same period was 17 degrees centigrade on 12 January 2009. The prevailing weather conditions are monitored by House engineers and the heating system adjusted accordingly to maintain temperatures at acceptable levels. Since November 2008, two requests have been recorded on the estates helpdesk about cool temperatures in the Churchill Room, on 20 November 2008 and 4 February 2009. Work has taken place during the February constituency week to replace the heating and ventilation controls for the Churchill Room and further work will take place in the Easter recess.

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what temperature range is deemed acceptable by the House authorities for staff to work in. (257382)

The statutory minimum temperature for office environments is 16°C. There is no statutory upper limit. In line with Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) guidance the House aims to maintain temperatures of 21°C in office areas.