Some quantitative relations between Indoor environmental quality and work performance or health

Publication Type

Journal Article



Poor indoor environmental quality (IEQ) has been related to increases in sick building syndrome symptoms, respiratory illnesses, sick leave, and losses in productivity. Calculations indicate that the cost of poor IEQ can be higher than energy costs space conditioning and ventilation, and that many measures taken to improve indoor IEQ will be highly cost-effective when accounting for the monetary savings resulting from an improved health or productivity. To enable building professionals to make selections of building designs and operating practices that account for effects on health and productivity, we need models for quantifying the health and productivity benefits of better indoor environments. Therefore, we have reviewed the literature on the effects of indoor environment on health and performance and used existing data, when possible, to develop some initial models. Based on the best-available evidence we present quantitative relationships between ventilation rate and short term sick leave, ventilation rate and work performance, perceived air quality and performance, temperature and performance, and temperature and sick building syndrome symptoms. We show also that a relationship exists between SBS symptoms (sick building syndrome symptoms) and work performance.


International Journal of HVAC&R Research



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Research Areas