Indoor climate: benefits

A study led by the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), tends to show that improved indoor climate also improves school results. According to the ICIEE (International Centre for Indoor Environment and Energy), three experiments in which ventilation rates were changed in classrooms and two experiments in which summer temperatures were brought down by 2- 3°C, demonstrate that pupils' performance could be raised by an average of 15%, and up to 30% for some specific tasks. This falls in line with other studies on the influence of indoor climate on productivity, such as that led by the Swedish Air Academy, which demonstrated a quantitative relationship between ventilation rates, sick leave rates due to infections and productivity, and also between temperature and performance (at 30°C, performance is only 90% of the peak level obtained at 21.6°C). Other aspects of the study included factors such as perceived air quality or neurobehavioural "sick building symptoms" such as fatigue, difficulty concentrating, etc. The direct effect of these factors on the workers' performance was measured by timing talk time in call centres, or typing rates. Even though it is more difficult to assess the economic benefits of improving school results as there is no immediate payoff, the effect in the long term will undoubtedly benefit society as a whole, which tends to show that indoor climate is not merely a matter of comfort.