Of the many benefits of improved building ventilation and filtration, cognitive functioning is among them. This is the finding of the COGfx Study 3: Global Buildings conducted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Global Health. The school’s research on how IAQ affects occupants’ cognitive performance spans a decade. The most recent study found that green buildings lead to the higher cognitive performance of occupants. The test, conducted on 302 office workers in the US, UK, China, India, Mexico, and Thailand, involved 43 buildings in 30 cities.
The first study conducted by the school found that lab workers produced 61 percent higher cognitive scores in 24 lab workers in green buildings compared to conventional buildings and 100 percent higher scores in enhanced green buildings. In addition, a second study tested 109 workers in 10 buildings in five cities in the US over a week’s time and found that participants tested 26 percent higher in green-certified buildings over those in non-certified buildings.
The most recent study, performed over 12 months using wearable monitors along with the Harvard Healthy Buildings mobile app, collected data on cognitive function and occupant satisfaction. It also established that an improved air exchange rate that reduces respirable sized particulates contributes to higher cognitive functioning.
Improvement to IAQ Affects Occupants
We know the importance of IAQ to physical health and mental well-being. Therefore, improvements to IAQ lead to better worker health, increased morale, and higher productivity. Preventing Sick Building Syndrom is an important part of this. As a result of poor ventilation, SBS causes headaches, eye, nose, and throat irritation, and nausea. During the current COIVD-19 pandemic, limiting the spread of viruses remains an important consideration as well. In fact, IAQ is now an essential component in building design as more people return to work.
For our part, Pure Air Services understands the link between IAQ and worker health, safety, wellbeing, and productivity. As a result, our Certified Pure Air Indoor Environment program is optimized to maintain building health. Using a suite of engineered services in our Certified Healthy Building Program, we neutralize harmful particles and pathogens and monitor the indoor environment to keep occupants safe.
Certified Healthy Building Program IAQ affects occupants
Six components of the Healthy Building Program show how IAQ affects occupants. This includes evaluation, restoration cleaning, filtration, neutralizing pathogens, cleaning the air, as well as tracking conditions.
IAQ Baseline Evaluation
Our Building Health Check baseline environmental testing addresses airflow and efficiency as well as duct leaking and performs building airtightness to gauge the impact of the HVAC system on the IAQ. Improvements result from our findings.
Restoring and Cleaning HVAC Systems
IAQ affects occupants in different ways so it’s important to stay proactive. The PURE-Steam™ method uses 350° F steam to disinfect the evaporator coil and the entire AHU. This destroys bacteria, mold, viruses, and other pathogens. The final step is restoration with antimicrobial paint as part of the HVAC New Life™ process.
The PURE-Duct cleaning method knocks out dirt and debris from deep inside HVAC ductwork to knock out dirt and debris. These particles then get removed with a vacuum system equipped with a HEPA filter.
The PURE-Decon building disinfection system uses EPA-registered Disinfectants for Emerging Pathogens. These DEPs neutralize pathogens including the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It kills 99.9 percent of microbes anywhere the mist reaches. After use, the DEPs decompose safely.
Cleaning the Air
EnviroSmart™ detection technology placed throughout the building responds to specific room conditions and adjusts performance accordingly. These air-cleaning devices remove allergens and volatile organic compounds (VOC) as well as odors.
Monitoring IAQ to Affect Building Occupants
The IAQ Guard system tracks indoor conditions to prevent issues before they affect IAQ. This includes relative humidity, temperatures, and levels of VOC CO2, and other gasses. This provides around-the-clock protection on how IAQ affects occupants.
Improve Indoor Air Quality Today
Pure Air Control Services understands how IAQ affects occupants. For more information on our Healthy Building Program, call us today at 1-800-422-7873 or email us here.
Pure Air Control Services and the Harvard Medical School
In 2016, Harvard Medical School contacted Pure Air Control Services through Kjelgaard Engineering, LLC to improve IAQ on the school’s Longwood Campus. The campus includes 100 AHUs in 14 buildings on over four million square feet. PURE-Steam Coil Cleaning was used to sanitize the coils, blower, and interior of the AHU while debris was removed from the condenser coils. As a result, improved airflow and cooling capacity of the unit led to increased performance and energy efficiency. It also extends the equipment’s lifespan. Knowing how IAQ affects occupants is the first step in providing a healthy indoor environment.