· 311 words · 2 minute read

Opening windows (again!)

The crank

Seems like mistakes are often found in the same places, this time we go back to an item also discussed in my very first blog-post: university windows! :)

For some reason, there’s something weird with the windows in my current office at the Technical University Eindhoven as well. They can only be opened with a special crank (which can be seen in the image above).

Now we are a lucky office: we have a crank in our room! However, some offices are not so lucky, and people in those offices need to go to the “servicedesk” which can be multiple floors away from you depending on where you are! The cranks have to be brought back as soon as possible, because there is only a limited amount of them and they are slowly disappearing (guess why…)

The only reason I can come up with why this was implemented this way was to have a better control over the heating of the building (which is also terrible). If this was the purpose, then it failed, as people can get the cranks without having to justify where and why they are opening a window. As it is now, the very simple problem of opening windows got a needlessly complicated solution.

On top of this, the mechanism is difficult to operate, which means you need a strong arm. Also, the mapping is very strange: the top window opens by rotating a handle all the way down at knees-height in the window frame. You can see this in the below image, with the beautifully sunny weather we had. Newcomers wouldn’t have a clue how to open our windows :)

The crank

Solution #

I’m starting to wonder if I should skip the solution section, as again the answer is: keep to the standards! There are dozens of designs for opening windows that do work, why reinvent the wheel?