A study conducted by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and SUNY-Upstate Medical School published in Building and Environment last March found that employees working in certified-green buildings did better at cognitive tasks than employees in non-certified green buildings. Even when researchers controlled for annual earnings, job category, and education level, certified-green-building workers scored 26.4% higher on cognitive function tests.
Over the years, research has shown that indoor air quality, thermal conditions, and lighting are all factors in workers’ cognitive function, but the study’s researchers posit that green-certified buildings may provide additional benefits. This finding also led the researchers to propose the concept of “buildingomics,” a holistic approach to studying all the ways indoor environments can affect human health through multidisciplinary teams including building scientists, epidemiologists, architects, designers, and social/behavioral scientists.