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Stanford officials continue to monitor impact of hot weather

Members of the university's emergency operations team and facilities management offices worked around the clock over the weekend to ensure that the unseasonably high temperatures did not have an impact on critical university and hospital operations.

Stanford's chilled water system  distributes cooling energy produced at the Central Energy Facility to the air-conditioned buildings on campus.  Ensuring that the hospitals and the School of Medicine had sufficient chilled water for their operations throughout the weekend was the highest priority. Officials also were concerned about the impact of the hot weather on campus units whose operations depend on cooling systems, such as computer facilities and research labs.

On Saturday and Sunday, university facilities officials initiated curtailment of chilled water systems. Stage 1 curtailment meant shutting down building comfort cooling. Stage 2 curtailment involved the shutdown of building air-cooling systems that could have resulted in temporary disruption of research, teaching and commercial operations.

By Sunday afternoon, the university's Central Energy Facility indicated significantly increased ice storage, and the forecast for slightly cooler weather. Officials planned to end Stage 2 and Stage 1 chilled water curtailment starting at 11 p.m. Sunday night.  However, due to the continued hot weather forecasted for this week, the campus will continue to keep in place the "soft" curtailment measures that were in place last Thursday and Friday. Those measures have minimal impact on building occupants.

Given this weekend's Stage 1 and Stage 2 curtailment, some building space temperatures may take some time to cool and will be slightly warmer than usual on Monday morning. If internal temperatures  – greater than 78 degrees Fahrenheit  – persist, academic building managers are encouraged to contact their applicable Zone office.

Given that the weather forecast is for continued hot temperatures next week, resumption of Stage 1 or Stage 2 curtailment may be required, if conditions worsen.  Facilities operations will keep building managers informed of curtailment status through periodic updates.

In planning for the Fourth of July holiday, building managers should coordinate with their departments to shut off equipment and minimize cooling loads wherever possible.  They also are being asked to ensure that contingency plans are in place in the event that curtailment needs to begin during the holiday break, especially in areas where  IT systems or research could be effected. If systems cannot be shut down or stabilized prior to close of business on Wednesday, July 3, someone should be designated to be available to respond should curtailment be necessary on Thursday or Friday, July 4 and 5.

Facilities managers will continue to monitor the situation throughout the week and during the weekend. Updates also will be posted on the Emergency Information website as needed.

For current weather conditions on the Stanford campus, visit https://weather.stanford.edu/.