Can Our Buildings Make Us Smarter? Indoor Air Quality and Brain Function

Most people spend about 90% of their time indoors. Given this reality, architects must design spaces that promote both physical and mental health. A new study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Health and the Global Environment, SUNY Upstate Medical University, and Syracuse University found that improved indoor air quality doubled occupants’ cognitive function test scores.

On 12.17.15, John Mandyck from United Technologies, Professor Joseph Allen of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Professor Usha Satish of SUNY Upstate Medical University will present the findings and implications of this important study. At “The Air We Breathe: Brain Function and IEQ,” organized by Urban Green Council, speakers will address the impact of indoor environmental air quality on human health and performance, and discuss what these results mean for the design of our offices and homes.

Pulse Points

  • One City: Built to Last, NYC’s plan to retrofit all public buildings and encourage private retrofits to move towards an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, won the C40 Climate Leader Group’s Building Energy Efficiency award in Paris during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21).
  • On 12.04.15, President Obama signed into law the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or “FAST Act.” The FAST Act provides long-term funding for surface transportation, allowing states and local governments to move forward with transportation projects, such as new highways and transit lines, with Federal support.
  • The City Planning Commission’s public hearing on the Zoning for Quality and Affordability and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing proposals is on 12.16.15. Read AIANY’s previous testimonies here.