John Libbey Eurotext

Environnement, Risques & Santé


Indoor air quality and comfort in new and retrofitted offices, and their relations with work performance. Analysis of the French data from OFFICAIR project, Part 2 Volume 16, issue 6, November-December 2017

1 Université Paris-Est / Centre scientifique et technique du bâtiment (CSTB)
84, avenue Jean Jaurès
77447 Champs-sur-Marne Cedex 02
2 BBA Binnenmilieu
P.O. Box 370
2501 CJ The Hague
The Netherlands
3 Università degli Studi dell’Insubria
via Valleggio 11
22100 Como
4 University of Milan
Via G.B. Grass
20157 Milan
5 Delft University of Technology
P.O. Box 5043
2600 GA Delft
The Netherlands
* Tirés à part

The OFFICAIR project aimed to describe comfort and indoor air quality (IAQ) in new and retrofitted office buildings in Europe. In France, 21 office buildings participated in this project. In a subsample of five buildings, IAQ measurements and performance tests were carried out to study the relations between IAQ and work performance. Twenty-one compounds were measured (volatile organic compounds, aldehydes, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone) as well as environmental parameters: carbon dioxide, temperature, and relative humidity, over five days in two different seasons. The occupants in the investigated rooms were invited to participate in two on-line task performance tests: a reaction time test, i.e., the standardized Deary-Liewald test, and a memory test. There were 93 participants in summer and 98 in winter. They also provided self-assessments of the influence of the indoor environment on their productivity. The multilevel linear regression models showed that individual characteristics were the main factors determining performance at work. Indoor air concentrations of xylenes and ozone might influence reaction time during summer. Both in summer and winter, the occupants’ satisfaction regarding noise and their perceived ability to control their indoor temperature increased their self-assessed productivity. This work is the first to study the influence of IAQ on performance in real work environments and on the basis of IAQ measurements. This study was limited to five buildings, but it would be useful to repeat it on a larger scale.