I recently volunteered at a company which, I believe, is owned by United Technologies. Since United Technologies appears to have been directly or indirectly involved in the survey that inspired this post, I am disclosing the connection even though employees at the location where I volunteered did not design, conduct, or summarize the survey mentioned in this post. Furthermore, the location where I volunteered does not design, develop, lease, or manage building or the land on which the buildings exist.
Considering all the time we spend inside (houses, schools, places of business, etc.), have you wondered if spending time in healthier buildings could have positive benefits?
Researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and SUNY Upstate Medical University didn’t just wonder, they set out to answer those questions. Studying 109 workers at 10 buildings in 5 cities across the U.S., they discovered that working in green-certified buildings was associated with higher cognitive function scores, fewer sick building symptoms, and higher sleep quality scores.
According to the survey, employees in high-performing, green-certified buildings had 26% higher cognitive function test scores than those in similarly high-performing buildings that were not green certified, even after controlling for other potential explanatory factors. Among the findings, participants had:
- 73% higher crisis response scores
- 44% higher applied activity level scores, which reflect ability to gear decision-making toward overall goals
- 38% higher focused activity level scores, which reflect capacity to pay attention to tasks at hand
- 31% higher strategy scores
“Certified green buildings not only deliver environmental benefits, they can have positive impacts on the productivity and thinking of the people in those buildings. That’s a powerful combination that can accelerate the green building movement globally,” said John Mandyck, Chief Sustainability Officer of United Technologies.