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Green buildings enable staff to think better and feel healthier

A new study has revealed that employees who work in certified green buildings are able to think and feel better than those working in non-certified buildings.

Researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and SUNY Upstate Medical University, studied 109 workers at 10 buildings in five cities across the US, and found that employees who work in certified green buildings have been found to have higher cognitive function scores (26 per cent), fewer sick building symptoms (30 per cent) and higher sleep quality scores (six per cent) than those working in non-certified buildings.

The study, also revealed that those working in green-certified buildings had 73 per cent higher crisis response scores, 44 per cent higher applied activity level scores, which reflect ability to gear decision-making toward overall goals, 38 per cent higher focused activity level scores, which reflect capacity to pay attention to tasks at hand and 31 per cent higher strategy scores.

The report, which is supported by United Technologies was launched at the US Green Building Council’s annual Greenbuild conference in Los Angeles, and builds on the 2015 COGfx Study (COGfx is shorthand for cognitive function) which found significantly higher cognitive function test scores for office workers in a simulated green building environment with enhanced ventilation compared to a conventional building environment.

John Alker, campaign and policy director at UK-GBC, said:

“This report is a wakeup call for anyone involved in the procurement or provision of buildings, whether for living, learning or working. Major employers in particular should take note – do you know what impact your own workplace has on your own workforce?

“Not only does this report emphasise that a building’s design impacts the health and wellbeing of the people using it, it supports the business case for pursuing a green building, which can help deliver those productivity outcomes. Better for people, better for the planet – and better for the bottom line.”

About Sarah OBeirne

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