Ventilation Matters (11-05-21)

Joseph Allen, the director of Harvard’s Healthy Buildings program clearly lays out in a recent article in The Atlantic (free at the web address below) why effective workplace ventilation is so important.  His piece includes information that’s crucial for every workplace designer and manager to know and to apply.  For example:  “My team at Harvard recently published research on the health of several hundred office workers around the world for more than a year. We found that people performed better on cognition tests when the ventilation rate in their working environment was higher. When they were exposed to more outdoor air, they responded to questions more quickly and got more answers right.  Our team reached a similar finding a few years back in a tightly controlled laboratory setting. In that study, people did notably better on cognitive tasks when carbon dioxide made up about 600 parts per million of the air they breathed than when it made up about 1,000 parts per million. . . .  In our new research, we observed the effect in real buildings globally. We also observed a reduction of worker performance even at indoor CO2 levels that many researchers had previously assumed were perfectly fine.”

Joseph Allen.  2021.  “Employers Have Been Offering the Wrong Office Amenities.”  The Atlantic,