New Global Study Supports Healthy Buildings as a Critical Public Health Strategy
Study conducted in the UK and five other countries backs findings that improved indoor air
quality leads to enhanced cognitive function and health of building occupants
LEATHERHEAD, UK, 16 Sept, 2021 – For the first time on a global scale, new research has found that healthy buildings with enhanced ventilation can improve the cognitive function and health of occupants, suggesting that ventilation and filtration are the preeminent healthy building strategies.
The study, COGfx Study 3: Global Buildings, was led by researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health as part of the renowned COGfx Study series, which examines the impact of indoor air quality on how people think and feel. This latest study supports the prior studies’ lab and US findings and further supports that indoor air quality is not only good for people around the world, it is good for the bottom line – through increased productivity, fewer sick days and better cognitive function.
“As the population moves toward returning to offices, schools and recreational activities, the health, safety and intelligence of indoor environments have come into greater focus,” said Didier Genois, Vice President & General Manager, HVAC Europe, Carrier. “The COGfx Study Series continues to demonstrate that the proper ventilation and filtration of indoor environments play an important role across the globe in fostering a proactive health strategy. At Carrier, we are focused on delivering innovative solutions and services that positively impact the health, productivity and cognitive performance of occupants of all buildings.”
The COGfx Study 3: Global Buildings examined the impact of indoor air quality on the cognitive function of office workers across six countries – the United Kingdom, China, India, Mexico, Thailand, and the United States. The research found that cognitive function declines as the levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and carbon Dioxide (CO2) increase.
Importantly, mechanical ventilation, such as an HVAC system with efficient filtration, can help to protect building occupants from the negative cognitive effects of PM2.5 and CO2. In addition to acute impacts on cognitive function, reducing exposure to PM2.5 is associated with many other health benefits including reductions in cardiovascular disease, asthma attacks, and premature death.
While the research focused on office employees in commercial buildings, the takeaways are applicable for all indoor environments. Carrier offers numerous products and services that optimize indoor air quality, including a suite of advanced solutions through Carrier’s Healthy Buildings Program that serves key verticals including, healthcare, hospitality, education, retail and marine. Carrier’s Healthy Buildings Program offers innovations including:
• OptiClean™ Dual-Mode Air Scrubber & Negative Air Machine – A portable negative air machine, which cleans and removes air potentially contaminated by the coronavirus.
• Air Handling Units – A versatile portfolio of air handling units (AHUs) including the Airovision® 39CP and the 39HX, which offer flexibility and a wide, customizable range of filter efficiencies and technologies.
• Fan Coil Units – Important aspects to any HVAC system, fan coil units (FCUs) can help improve indoor air quality and deliver treated freshy air to building occupants. Carrier’s Idrofan® 42EP, 42NL and 42NH FCUs are flexible, compact and quiet.
This latest research builds on previous COGfx studies that demonstrated better thinking and better health can be found inside healthier buildings. The first study found cognitive function test scores doubled when study participants were in simulated green building environments with enhanced ventilation as opposed to conventional building environments. The COGfx Study 2 examined real-world building environments in the US and showed that employees in green-certified buildings showed 26% higher cognitive function test scores and 30% fewer sick building symptoms versus buildings that were not green-certified.
The COGfx Study 3 can be found here and full reports are available at www.theCOGfxStudy.com. Follow the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #TheCOGfxStudy.
Primary support for the study came from Carrier Global Corporation (NYSE:CARR).