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People working in green buildings think better in the office and sleep better when they get home, a new study has revealed. The research indicates that better ventilation, lighting and heat control improves workers’ performance and could boost their productivity by thousands of dollars a year. It also suggests that more subjective aspects, such as beautiful design, may make workers happier and more productive.

 


 

In the recent years, there have been a number of studies conducted by developers as the cost and health benefits become more well known, but this is the first that shows green buildings can improve mind stimulation.

You are probably wondering how the research was constructed. Five certified green buildings in five US cities were compared with other workers in the same cities employed in different offices owned by the same companies.

 

The Results

“We saw higher cognitive function scores for workers in green certified buildings, compared to their counterparts in buildings that were still high performing, but which had not achieved green certification,” said Joseph Allen, at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in the US.

 

The workers in green buildings scored over 25% higher in a standard test which uses a Sims-like computer game to assess the ability to think and plan. “The tool assesses complex decision-making performance, which mimics the real-world decision making that all of us encounter every day in our normal work routine,” said Allen.

 

The quality of sleep of the workers was also taken into consideration. The length of sleep, tossing and turning and interruptions were factors that were taken into consideration. Those in green offices had 6% higher sleep scores. This showed the impact of the work place long after we have left for the day.

 

The green buildings were better lit and had more natural light throughout the building which has been shown to strengthen people’s daily rhythms and promote better sleep. 

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