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As heat lessens, Stanford ends chilled water curtailment


Amid blistering heat, chilled water cooling has been restricted since Tuesday in all campus buildings except hospitals, “life safety areas,” classrooms with finals and venues with large events scheduled. But Stanford confirmed Thursday that the curtailment will end in all buildings by the end of the day, thanks to forecasts predicting cooler temperatures.

“Cooling will be released over the course of the day, beginning with buildings hosting Commencement events, laboratories, libraries and museums, followed by comfort cooling spaces,” reads an AlertSU Community Alert sent Thursday morning. “If you don’t see improvement by the end of the day, please contact your facilities representatives.”

Cooling was reduced in several University offices and other campus buildings on Monday, before Tuesday’s more extensive measures, to preserve the cooling capacity necessary for medical, research, data processing and other facilities “due to the unusually high current temperatures,” according to an AlertSU sent Monday afternoon.

The curtailment was “required to reduce load and restore chilled water storage to normal levels,” according to that alert. Stanford’s Central Energy Facility supplies cooled water to campus.

Tuesday’s measures cut off cooling in laboratories, offices, classrooms, dining halls and kitchens, as well as three residences — Jack McDonald Hall, Munger Graduate Residence and Schwab Residential Center — that are on the chilled water system. Other residences do not use the system and were not impacted by the curtailment.

“Buildings where cooling is turned off will rapidly become much warmer than normal this afternoon and evening,” the Tuesday alert warned. “Managers should encourage precautionary measures and have discussions with employees about alternate work arrangements if needed due to the temperature in their location.”

With summer on the horizon, curtailment measures could soon return, but buildings relying on chilled water cooling are back in the clear for now.

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Holden Foreman '21 was the Vol. 258-59 chief technology officer. Holden was president and editor-in-chief in Vol. 257, executive editor (vice president) in Vol. 256, managing editor of news in Vol. 254 and student business director in Vol. 255.