Clean air is an invisible product. Its positive impact on the indoor environment cannot be seen with the naked eye. Only in recent years have research and studies made the clear connection between good indoor air quality and higher worker productivity in buildings.

It started with the sick building syndrome in the 1980s and became measurable through large-scale productivity studies in offices and schools during the late 1990s. This research has proved that a good ventilation system can increase office productivity by up to 10% and also reduce absenteeism due to illness.
Due to growing evidence that polluted air is harmful, providing high air quality has evolved from “good-to-have” in the indoor environment to “must-have” to ensure occupational health, productivity and other tangible benefits in buildings.
In recent years, air pollution has also become a public health issue. It has been singled out as a factor causing premature death and increasing the risk of respiratory or cardiovascular disease. Far from being anecdotal, air pollution causes 310,000 premature deaths in Europe alone and is a growing threat in countries with fast-developing economies.

Quick facts

Every year the European Union loses 2 193 000 years equivalent of healthy living (DALY disability adjusted life year - mortality and disability). It represents 0,9% of the active population in Europe (estimated in 2006 to be 239 292 000 people (1)). Overall absenteeism in Europe is evaluated at 4%.(2)

  • School children performance tests can be improved by 13% and productivity in office buildings by 10% (3)
  • Improved ventilation systems can save $400 per year per employee and improve by 30% sick leave rate. (4)

Read more about:

London office experiment

(1) Eurostat: labour Force survey 2009 data
(2) PWC report European Human Capital effectiveness , 2007
(3) Wargocki, Improving Indoor air Quality improves the performance of office work and schoolwork, INIVE International Network for Information on Ventilation and Energy Performance
(4) Donald K. Milton, P. Mark Glencross, And Michael D. Walters Risk of Sick Leave Associated with Outdoor Air Supply Rate, Humidification, and Occupant Complaints – Indoor Air 2000 10: 212-22


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