In the world of green building and sustainable design there is a way too much noise to make much sense of what really matters.
In this study the researchers compared three buildings:
- A typical office building
- A building made with healthier products (less off-gasing)
- A building made with healthier products that had fresh air piped in.
They then had people work in the buiding for a day and tested their cognitive function at the end of the day. People in the healthy building with fresh air tested 101% better.
Put another way – a healthy buildings and fresh air make you twice as smart.
Or another way – the vast majority of buildings make you dumb.
We exchanged a few messages with one of the researchers and he noted the following:
“As far as homes, the research was conducted in an office environment with office workers, but the exposures are not unique to offices. Homes often have worse air quality in terms of ventilation and VOCs than offices, and we don’t have reason to believe that similar effects wouldn’t be found in those environments. We have done other research with a focus on homes concerning harmful chemicals, such as flame retardants, which has led to our university banning these substances in dorms.
I recommend reading the full paper, which you can download here: www.thecogfxstudy.com. There are a lot of important takeaways when it comes to designing and operating buildings.
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