Indoor environments : design, productivity and health

Bell, John (2004) Indoor environments : design, productivity and health. [Report]

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Abstract

In a typical large office block, by far the largest lifetime expense is the salaries of the workers - 84% for salaries compared with : office rent (14%), total energy (1%), and maintenance (1%). The key drive for business is therefore the maximisation of the productivity of the employees as this is the largest cost. Reducing total energy use by 50% will not produce the same financial return as 1% productivity improvement? The aim of the project which led to this review of the literature was to understand as far as possible the state of knowledge internationally about how the indoor environment of buildings does influence occupants and the impact this influence may have on the total cost of ownership of buildings. Therefore one of the main focus areas for the literature has been identifying whether there is a link between productivity and health of building occupants and the indoor environment. Productivity is both easy to define - the ratio of output to input - but at the same time very hard to measure in a relatively small environment where individual contributions can influence the results, in particular social interactions. Health impacts from a building environment are also difficult to measure well, as establishing casual links between the indoor environment and a particular health issue can be very difficult. All of those issues are canvassed in the literature reported here. Humans are surprisingly adaptive to different physical environments, but the workplace should not test the limits of human adaptability. Physiological models of stress, for example, accept that the body has a finite amount of adaptive energy available to cope with stress. The importance of, and this projects' focus on, the physical setting within the integrated system of high performance workplaces, means this literature survey explores research which has been undertaken on both physical and social aspects of the built environment. The literature has been largely classified in several different ways, according to the classification scheme shown below. There is still some inconsistency in the use of keywords, which is being addressed and greater uniformity will be developed for a CD version of this literature, enabling searching using this classification scheme.

Additional Information

Item Type: Report
Collection: CRC for Construction Innovation
Keywords: CRC for Construction Innovation; Program B Sustainable Built Assets; Project 2001-005-B-02 : Indoor Environments : Design, Productivity and Health
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2014 03:17
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2014 03:20
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 Icon. Net Pty Ltd
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URI: http://digitalcollections.qut.edu.au/id/eprint/1932
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