A new Harvard study has expressed a link between poor air quality in offices and reduced cognitive function. Higher than average levels of particulate matter and a lower standard of ventilation were seen as the main contributing factors in the study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The study focused on the impacts of both particulate matter (known as PM2.5) and carbon dioxide (CO2) on the cognitive functions of office workers across six different countries (including the UK). By assessing commercial premises over a 12 month period, the team from Harvard discovered that higher levels of PM2.5 and poor ventilation (evidenced by a higher concentration of CO2) had contributed to reduced concentration and accuracy - based on the results of a series of observational tests.
“This study demonstrates how even at commonly observed levels, exposure to CO2 and PM2.5 is associated with decreased levels of cognitive function. This highlights the importance of increased ventilation, enhanced filtration and continuous monitoring of air pollution within the built environment.” James Browne, Head of PPCS
The team at Stroma Built Environment is currently conducting our own study into air quality in our Wakefield office. Sensors have been fitted in the main office spaces, as well as communal areas like meeting rooms. All sensors are feeding data to a web portal which analyses the results. We're tracking the data over a series of months, first establishing a baseline and then implementing improvements based on the reported trends and pollutant spikes.
Indoor Air Quality has become a hot topic in the months since the COVID pandemic peaked in the UK. Effective monitoring of particulate levels has a multitude of benefits, beginning with the obvious health and comfort benefits to building occupiers. It can also unlock two credits for projects seeking a BREEAM rating - via an Indoor Air Quality Plan and Test.
Call 01924 237 500 to speak with one of our Air Quality Consultants about your needs or secure a 15% discount on your Indoor Air Quality Test when you buy an Indoor Air Quality Plan.