Building healthier places to work

Greg Chant-Hall discusses how a new standard can improve buildings and raise employee productivity

We spend about 90% of our time in buildings, whether it is our homes, our offices or when we are out socialising. But in some respects life indoors can be more harmful than outdoors. Indeed, the US Environmental Protection Agency has found that concentrations of some pollutants can be two to five times higher inside.

Whose responsibility it is to improve the environment of offices and buildings is a moot point. Whether it is that of facilities managers, the HR department, the sustainability team, or the chief financial officer’s or all or none of these is open to debate. Less vague is the expectation of senior management for staff to be ever-more productive. And this long-term value can be generated by addressing occupant health.

Impairing performance

Take something as prosaic as fluid intake. The Journal of the American College of Nutrition reported in 2012 that being dehydrated by just 2% could impair performance in tasks that require attention, psychomotor and immediate memory skills. Even if you have ...

Back to Top