How do green buildings impact your thinking, sleep quality and health? You can soon find out for yourself. Researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and SUNY Upstate Medical University are recruiting 100 office buildings from around the world to be part of a new, first-of-its-kind study to examine the effects of global indoor environments on employee productivity and health.
COGfx Study 3: Global Buildings:
Starting in January 2018, over the next three years, the research team will assess employee cognitive function performance – a key indicator of productivity – using a proven, standardized app-based process. Participants will get the ‘ForHealth’ kit from the Healthy Buildings team at Harvard that includes an environmental sensor for their desk and a wrist monitor to easily capture feedback on sleep and physical activity. The sensors connect seamlessly to a custom-built ‘ForHealth’ app that integrates data from the sensors and is used to administer the tests.
The launch of the new study builds on the acclaimed COGfx studies, which revolutionized the concept of green building by unveiling its impact on human performance. The COGfx research shows significantly improved cognitive function scores among employees in green building environments, and this new, global study aims to better understand specific building-level factors that deliver improved thinking, productivity and health in building occupants around the world. The first COGfx study set the methodology and found a doubling of cognitive test scores when participants worked in a setting optimized for indoor environmental quality, like those found in green buildings. The second study took the research out of the lab, connecting green building with occupants’ health and productivity in ten U.S. office buildings across geographic regions, finding a 26% improvement in cognitive test scores for those working in certified green buildings. Now, this third study will scale the research to further explore the connection between green buildings and human performance around the world.
Take a look at the video below explaining the what to expect in the upcoming study.