Dan Hounsell March 30, 2017 – Maintenance & Operations
Maintenance and engineering managers in institutional and commercial facilities know that healthier buildings help occupants feel and work better. No, maybe the general public will start to take note of facility conditions.
A new Harvard study has found that the key to working better, sleeping better, and feeling better could be rooted in the design, maintenance, and operation of the buildings where we spend the majority of our time.
The national study was conducted by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Health and the Global Environment and SUNY Upstate Medical. It is the first to show that working in high-performing, green-certified buildings can improve employee decision-making using objective cognitive simulations.
Researchers looked at 10 high-performing buildings in five cities across the United States, including Harvard’s double LEED Platinum Blackstone South building. The team collaborated with the Office for Sustainability and Harvard Real Estate to use Blackstone as a “living laboratory” to study the relationship between building conditions and occupants’ productivity and well-being.
The study found that occupants in high-performing, green-certified office environments scored 26 percent higher on tests of cognitive function, had 30 percent fewer symptoms of sick building syndrome, and had 6 percent higher sleep quality scores than those in high-performing but noncertified buildings.
This Quick Read was submitted by Dan Hounsell, editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions, email@example.com. To read about the role of computerized maintenance management systems in improving facility conditions, visit http://www.facilitiesnet.com/12365FMD.