Do Healthy Buildings
Researchers are taking a variety of approaches to answer that question. Much of the research
involves the effects of air quality, day-
lighting and artificial lighting.
1Given that people spend on average more than 90% of their time in buildings, their impact
on well-being and health must be
wide ranging. In terms of workplaces,
a number of studies have connected
dots between productivity and IEQ.
2LED lamps offer countless possibilities for altering the color and quality of light,
including the ability to mimic
changing natural light throughout
the day. Lighting that is shifted
toward the blue spectrum appears
to suppress the sleep-promoting
3Researchers studied workers’ cognitive function in the same workspace under three conditions of ventilation rate, outside air
makeup and CO2. On average, the
workers’ cognitive function scores
were 61% higher in the greenest IAQ
conditions compared to those of
conventional conditions assumed to
represent the upper end of typical
SOURCE: ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PERSPEC TIVES,
“ASSOCIATIONS OF COGNITIVE FUNCTION SCORES
WITH CARBON DIOXIDE, VEN TILATION, AND VOLATILE
ORGANIC COMPOUND EXPOSURES IN OFFICE WORKERS”
IMPACT OF IAQ ON COGNITIVE FUNCTION
Walking boosts creativity by 60% over sitting, according to a
Stanford University study. But the research discovered no measurable effect on focused thinking.
Workers with access to sunlight are 18% more productive, says
the World Green Building Council.
The average American spends 7. 7 hours each day sitting, which
has been linked to muscular degeneration, disorders of the back, neck and leg,
and some types of cancer.
The Harvard Business Review reported on data showing that when
salespeople interact 10% more with coworkers from other teams, their
sales grow by 10%.
According to a study cited by the World Green Building Council (WGBC),
a CO2 level of 1,000 ppm has a detrimental impact (11–22%) on decision-making tasks compared to CO2 at 600 ppm. WGBC also quotes research
showing that occupant performance is reduced by 4% at cool temperatures
and 6% at warm temperatures.
DATA POINTS ABOUT OFFICE PRODUCTIVITY
Conventional Green Green+
MANY RESEARCHERS BELIEVE THAT
BLUE LIGHT IMPROVES THE ALERTNESS
AND ACTIVITY OF OCCUPANTS.