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Publication Date


Document Type


Study Type

Environmental Integration 312


Environmental Science and Policy


Alex Barron


Overheating in residential houses at Smith College negatively impacts both the environment and student comfort. Our research examined the effect of renovating buildings on reducing overheating. Temperature variance and student comfort in Morris, Lawrence, Baldwin and Albright houses was compared using temperature loggers and student surveys. Our results showed that Albright, which had not had a hot water heating system installed or undergone envelope sealing measures, experienced more overheating and student discomfort. Baldwin, which had undergone partial renovations, showed results similar to Morris and Lawrence houses. Furthermore, there were some indicators of slight overheating in Lawrence. Our results suggest that hot water heating systems are vital to increasing student comfort. We recommend the installation of hot water systems, increased study to address experiment limitations, and greater engagement of students in addressing heating issues.


©2016 Laurel Bryggman


This project report summarizes the semester-long efforts of group members to identify a problem in sustainability; gather background information; collect data through surveys, interviews, or experiments; analyze results, and report findings to the public in an oral presentation. Each member of the group was required to submit a separate written report. This student’s report was selected by the course’s professor to represent the project.

Project group members:

Laurel Bryggman

Ava Sharma

Jessenia Preciado

Emma Swartz