Cold Weather Building Operations in South Texas
Just to recap, we are in the midst of a winter storm that has affected the entire state of Texas. Electricity is undergoing rolling blackouts to shed some load on the electrical grid. This has affected our facility as we were down for approximately 24 hours. The freezing temperatures also have other effects on the operations of our facility.
I had an early morning start. The fire alarm monitoring company called because the fire alarm had not reported. This was understandable because there was no power to the facility for a prolonged period. First order of business for the day was to run down to the facility to check if power had been restored in order to inform staff that they should drive in to work. Power was restored. Notification sent out.
We proceeded to the electrical room to turn on power to receptacles. We had previously only left lights on in the facility as an indicator that power was restored. Next, we shut off all individual rooftop units (RTUs) at the breakers before turning on power to the panel. In this way we could control the start up. Then, we selectively turned on power to the RTUs that service office spaces to ensure comfort of our tenants and staff. Later, we will turn on power to RTUs servicing other areas. Our strategy is to resume operations with the least impact to the electrical grid.
The remainder of the day was spent on standby in case other problems arose. This allowed time for administrative work and documentation.
We are cooling the IT rooms by not turning on the RTUs that service them. The units would pump in heat to the spaces, which is the last thing we want. So far, temperature has remained balanced at about 82 degrees F. Once outdoor temperatures rise above 45 degrees F, we will turn on the mini split air conditioners to help cool the rooms. We can also turn on the RTUs.
The open area RTUs and unoccupied spaces RTUs will remain off until the spaces are used or the rolling blackouts are phased out. Then we can power up all of our units.