United Technologies gathered more than 300 building professionals this week in Dubai, UAE and London to discuss trends in green building and their connection to human health and productivity.
Both cities are known for having some of the most progressive green building trends in the world. The corporate strategy firm, Soldiance ranked London and Dubai, respectively the third best and eighth best cities for green building, globally.
And there’s no sign of slowing:
Many developers expect that more than 60 percent of all building activity in the U.K. will be green by 2018.
London has set national targets that will require all homes built after this year and all non-domestic construction from 2019 to be net-zero carbon emissions.
Dubai, considered to be the most sustainable city in the Middle East, has committed to reducing its energy and water demand by a third by 2030 and is currently pursuing the largest solar rooftop project in the Middle East.
So what do green buildings have to do with human health?
A new study conducted by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and SUNY Upstate Medical University found that workers in green-certified buildings saw higher cognitive function test scores, slept better and reported fewer health symptoms compared to those in similarly high-performing buildings that were not green certified. The study, called The COGfx Study: Buildingomics, built on previous findings that indoor environmental factors doubled cognitive function test scores.
Dr. Joseph Allen, Assistant Professor of Exposure Assessment Science at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Director of the Healthy Buildings program at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard T.H. Chan School, and principal investigator for the COGfx studies, presented the findings at the London and Dubai events.
Allen says, “We’re advocating for what we call Buildingomics — a new approach that examines the totality of factors in the building-related environment that influence the health, well-being and productivity of people who work in buildings.”
“United Technologies is working to accelerate the green building movement around the world,” John Mandyck, United Technologies Chief Sustainability Officer, adds. “We are engaged in an entirely new conversation on the value of green building because of this groundbreaking research. When you can demonstrate that green building is not only good for the environment but also for people – that is a powerful combination.”
Primary support for the study came from United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) and its UTC Climate, Controls & Security business.
These events were part of a larger series called the Distinguished Sustainability Lecture Series. The series has reached nearly 4,000 building professionals through 31 events in 14 countries.
For more information on United Technologies’ sustainability efforts, visit NaturalLeader.com and join the conversation on Twitter: @UTC, @JohnMandyck, using the hashtag #NaturalLeader.
To learn more about The COGfx Study, visit CHGEHarvard.org/COGfxStudy and theCOGfxStudy.com. Follow the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #TheCOGfxStudy.