The COGfx Buildingomics Study found higher cognitive function scores, fewer health symptoms and better perception of the indoor environment in high-performing, green-certified buildings compared to similarly high-performing buildings that were not green-certified.
All of the buildings studied had similar air quality – including higher ventilation levels, low CO2 concentrations and low volatile organic compound (VOC) concentrations.
However, in this study, thermal comfort and lighting differed between the two types of buildings. Green-certified buildings were generally less humid than the non-certified buildings. As a result, more participants in these buildings were within the thermal comfort zone defined by ASHRAE. Participants within the ASHRAE thermal comfort zone performed 5 percent higher on cognitive simulations than those outside of the thermal comfort zone.
With regard to lighting, better lighting was associated with better sleep. Researchers noted 6.4 percent higher sleep quality scores in high-performing, green-certified buildings versus high-performing, non-certified buildings. A sleep score from the previous night’s sleep that was 25 percent higher was associated with a cognitive function score that was higher by 2.8 percent.
On average, participants in green-certified buildings saw 26 percent higher cognitive function scores than those in non-certified, high-performing buildings. Higher scores were identified in critical areas such as crisis response and strategy.
Less than 950 parts per million
Less than 250 µg/m3
Greater than 20 cubit feet per minute per person of outdoor air
Greater than 80% of participants were in the