Air Quality

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.

Ventilation and Cognitive Performance (11-04-21)

Research on topics related to workplace ventilation continues.  A Laurent-lead team reports that their goal was “to understand whether cognitive function was associated with real-time indoor concentrations of particulate matter (PM2.5) and carbon dioxide (CO2). We conducted a prospective observational longitudinal study among 302 office workers in urban commercial buildings located in six countries (China, India, Mexico, Thailand, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom). For 12 months, [we] assessed cognitive function. . . .

Indoor Air Quality (08-12-21)

Licina and Langer compare indoor air quality and satisfaction in different contexts.  They report that they “quantitatively compared IAQ [indoor air quality] results before and after relocation to two WELL-certified office buildings using the same cohort of occupants. Physical measures included integrated samples of TVOC, individual VOC, formaldehyde, and acetaldehyde, NO2, SO2, Oand longitudinal records of CO2 and size-resolved particles. Complementary survey responses about satisfaction with IAQ and thermal comfort were collected. . . .

Complex Effects in Offices (06-02-21)

Bourikas and colleagues report interesting relationships between perceptions of various aspects of office environments.  Their work indicates that “bad air quality is generally associated with a ‘warm’ thermal sensation response. . . .  air quality . . . and noise perception (NSV) are both correlated with thermal perception (TSV). . . . Air quality perception was correlated with both TSV  and NSV.. . .

The Value of Natural Things

The cognitive science research is clear – using natural elements (for example, materials, sounds, light, plants, fresh air, and water) in interior spaces has positive consequences for how people think and behave.  What scientists have learned about nature-based experiences can inform design that enhances wellbeing and cognitive performance and  encourages worthwhile life experiences. 
 

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