There is a growing sense that health and well-being is the defining issue of the next generation of green building. We know that green buildings provide health benefits for occupants, as recent research from Harvard shows that employees in green-certified buildings performed higher on cognitive tests than those in similarly high-performing buildings that were not green-certified.
But how are these health outcomes measured? A new generation of game-changing technology lets us “see” previously invisible dimensions of performance to gain insights that will help us design better buildings for people and the environment.
Technology and health played a large role in this year’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Downtown Los Angeles. The Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, presented by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the world’s largest green building exposition of its type, providing a forum for the green building community to unite and address the world’s most pressing problems. As part of this year’s opening summit, USGBC and Aclima announced that they will work together to raise awareness, educate leaders and demonstrate cutting edge technology to advance health and real-time performance in the built environment.
The conference features an expo hall and a series of education sessions, where participants can learn from industry leaders and new green building practices. In our Unleashing Human Productivity Through Better IAQ session with Healthy Buildings, Aclima provided live environmental sensing in the conference room to demonstrate the relationship between indoor air quality and productivity. Over the course of the 90-minute presentation, carbon dioxide (CO2) climbed from 440 to over 1212 parts per million.
“We were able to see the concentration of CO2 climb as people came into the room — approaching levels that Simon Turner, the CEO of Healthy Buildings, described as ‘approaching the dumb level’,” said Chris Pyke, Aclima’s chief strategy officer.
Pyke, who participated in a number of Greenbuild sessions, observed this shift in industry focus to health and well-being during his session The Promise of the Internet of Things for Existing Buildings with GreenBiz, WeWork, and Comfy. Where conversation two years ago would have focused primarily on energy conservation, the conversation this year centered on human experience and performance.
“What we’re ultimately trying to do is create spaces that in operation, in reality, use less resources and provide superior human experience. And we don’t want that to be a theoretical exercise, we want that to be a lived experience,” says Pyke.
Check out our video for highlights from Greenbuild and how harnessing a new level of environmental intelligence in buildings will advance our health and wellbeing.