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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Indoor Climate and Productivity in Offices


The scientific literature shows that the temperature, indoor air quality and venti¬lation, noise and light, and the possibility to control them individually does affect human performance. For cost-benefit analysis it is not sufficient to have information demonstrating a statistically-significant effect of the indoor environmental quality on health and work performance, the dose response relationship of the effect must be quantified. For the temperature, ventilation and indoor air quality was it possible to develop the quantitative relationships describing their effects on office work or sick leave. These relationships have a high level of uncertainty. However, using them is preferable to the current practice of ignoring the effects on health and performance when designing buildings and selecting building operation practices because they have a high economical impact. Usually an increment of 1% of productivity may offset the yearly energy costs. The full costs of installation and running the building can be offset by productivity gains of just under 10%. The pay-back time for investments to improve indoor environmental quality is generally below 2 years.

The main aim of this paper is to present the Italian translation of the REHVA guidebook about indoor climate and productivity in offices in order to attract the attention of building owners, employees, employers and building designers on the effects of indoor environment on office work.

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