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Remember that time in class when you almost fell asleep?

Remember that time in class when you almost fell asleep?

Written by Felix van den Horst | 26th May, 2019

Four years ago when I started studying Future Planet Studies at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) I attended class in a brand new building at the UvA Science Park Campus. During the lectures about Climate Change & Sea Level Rise, I was continuously unable to focus on the matter. Breaks became a relief and I quickly discovered that I was not the only person who was dealing with the same issue. People were literally falling asleep in class within the first 30 minutes, experienced headaches and dizziness.

I found it utterly strange. I could not define where the problem came from, because the topics were interesting and the teacher had fun in explaining them as well. Throughout the course, many people quit attending the lectures and the resit exam after the Christmas holiday was therefore completely ‘booked’.

A year later, for a different course, I discovered that the university had changed something in the lecture hall: they installed a ventilation system. The tubes were hanging throughout the whole building and the result was astonishing. My fellow students and I were no longer unable to concentrate and the course became very interactive.

Around the same time, my co-founders Tibor Casteleijn, Jan-Willem Gmelig Meyling and Sayra Ranjha discovered the same problems during their Bachelor Project at Asito, work at the office and at the Delft University of Technology respectively. During the minor Entrepreneurship at the University of Amsterdam further research on the topic of indoor air quality (IAQ) has been done. The results aligned accurately with our personal experience at universities and office spaces. Harvard Chan School of Medicine has written articles on the topic which have let to tremendous results: companies or institutions with bad indoor air quality risk a 50% drop of overall cognitive functioning in comparison to green certified buildings. Key to the problem is optimizing the parameters which determine the overall indoor air quality based on occupation rates. A determining factor for cognitive impairment is CO2, and when rates become out of proportion to outdoor air values, the risk is that people fall asleep. Improving indoor air quality can lead to 131% better crisis response, 288% smarter strategy and 299% increase in information usage.

So imagine: how many hours can you and your colleagues not focus properly throughout the day, and how does that translate to job satisfaction and company results?

At Clairify we believe everyone has the right to work in a healthy office where talent can excel. We are determined and work overtime to get you the right insights and results to make it happen. If you want to learn more about how air quality affects your company, sign up for a free consult today.


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