Several years back, Environmental Health Perspectives published a paper about a study that examined the cognitive function of workers in conventional and green office environments. The study garnered the attention of business leaders, human resources professionals, and occupational health professionals from across the country.
Two dozen participants were observed by researchers over six full work days. The participants were exposed to indoor environmental quality (IEQ) conditions that were representative of conventional office building environments and those from a green building. The conventional office environment included higher volatile organic compound (VOC) concentrations in the air.  The green office environment had low VOC concentrations, a simulated high outdoor air ventilation rate (labeled Green+), and artificially elevated carbon dioxide levels independent of ventilation.
Researchers found that the cognitive scores of study participants were an average of 61 percent higher on days they worked in a building environment with low pollution levels than on the days working in a conventional office environment. In fact, when carbon dioxide levels were also low, participants working in the green office environment displayed cognitive scores that were 101 percent higher than when working in the conventional office space.
“The Harvard study demonstrates to business leaders and employers in all sectors that providing workers with healthy indoor air quality can dramatically increase their workforce’s cognitive ability,” said Michael Berrevoets, president, VOETS LLC. “Good indoor air quality undoubtedly helps to improve the bottom line of a business through increased productivity, fewer sick days, and a decreased turnover rate.”
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Publication date: 9/4/2017

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