ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 85

600 ppm CO2

1,000 ppm CO2

2,500 ppm CO2

Superior
95th Percentile
Very Good
75th Percentile

Average

50th Percentile
Marginal
25th Percentile
Dysfunctional
Basic
Activity

Applied
Activity

Focused
Activity

Task
Orientation

Initiative

Information
Orientation

Information
Utilization

Breadth of
Approach

Basic
Strategy

Figure 1: Impact of CO2 on human decision-making performance. Error bars indicate one standard deviation.
The real-world significance of our findings depends upon
the extent to which CO2 concentrations are at, or above, 1,000
and 2,500 ppm in current or future buildings. In surveys of
elementary school classrooms in California3 and Texas,4
average CO2 concentrations were above 1,000 ppm, a substantial proportion exceeded 2,000 ppm, and in 21% of Texas
classrooms peak CO2 concentration exceeded 3,000 ppm. In
a representative survey of 100 U.S. offices,5 only 5% of the
measured peak indoor CO2 concentrations exceeded 1,000
ppm, assuming an outdoor concentration of 400 ppm. A very
small study suggests that meeting rooms in offices, where
important decisions are sometimes made, can have elevated
CO2 concentrations.
The dramatic direct influence of CO2 on decision-making performance was unexpected, and the study needs to be replicated.
The findings of this study, if replicated, have implications for the
standards that specify minimum ventilation rates in buildings,
and indicate the need to adhere more consistently to the existing
standards. Many of the elevated CO2 concentrations observed
in practice are a consequence of a failure to supply the amount
of outdoor air specified in current standards; however, even the
minimum ventilation rates in ASHRAE Standard 62.1-20106
correspond to CO2 concentrations above 1,000 ppm in densely
occupied spaces.
There is a current interest in reducing ventilation rates to
save energy and reduce energy costs. Yet, large reductions in
ventilation rates could lead to increased CO2 concentrations
that adversely affect decision-making performance, even when
indoor air concentrations of other air pollutants are maintained
March 2013

low through implementation of pollutant source control measures or application of gas-phase air cleaning systems.

References
1. Kajtar, L., et al. 2006. “Influence of carbon dioxide pollutant
on human well being and work intensity.” In Proceedings of Healthy
Buildings 2006, pp. 85 – 90.
2. Satish, U., et al. 2012. “Is CO2 an indoor pollutant? Direct effects
of low-to-moderate CO2 concentrations on human decision-making
performance.” Environ Health Perspect 120:1671 – 1677.
3. Whitmore, R., A. Clayton, G. Akland. 2003. “California portable
classrooms study phase II: main study, final report, volume II.” California Air Resources Board.
4. Corsi, R.L., et al. 2002. “Carbon dioxide levels and dynamics in
elementary schools: results of the TESIAS study.” In Proceedings of
Indoor Air 2002, pp. 74 – 79.
5. Persily, A.K., J. Gorfain. 2008. “Analysis of ventilation data from
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Building Assessment Survey and Evaluation (BASE) Study.” NISTIR-7145-Revised.
6. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2010, Ventilation for Acceptable
Indoor Air Quality.

William J. Fisk is senior scientist and leads the Indoor Environment Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
(LBNL), Berkeley, Calif. Usha Satish is a professor in the
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the State
University of New York Upstate Medical University, Syracuse,
N.Y. Mark J. Mendell is staff scientist, Toshifumi Hotchi is
principal research associate, and Douglas Sullivan is principal scientific engineering associate at the Indoor Environment
Group, LBNL.
ASHRAE Journal

85



ASHRAE Journal - March 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASHRAE Journal - March 2013

ASHRAE Journal - March 2013
Contents
Commentary
Show Coverage
Meetings and Shows
Feature Articles
2013 ASHRAE Technology Awards
Commissioning Existing Airside Economizer Systems
How Indoor Environment Affects Performance
Thermally Active Floors: Part 3: Making it Work
Technology Award Case Studies:
Data Center Dilemma
Heat Recovery for School
Standing Columns
Data Centers
Refrigeration Applications
Emerging Technologies
IAQ Applications
Engineer's Notebook
Classified Advertising
Advertisers Index
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - Intro
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - ASHRAE Journal - March 2013
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - Cover2
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 1
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 2
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - Contents
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - Commentary
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 5
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - Show Coverage
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 7
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 8
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 9
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 10
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 11
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 12
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 13
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - Meetings and Shows
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 15
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 16
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 17
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 2013 ASHRAE Technology Awards
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 19
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 20
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 21
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 22
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 23
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 24
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 25
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 26
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 27
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 28
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 29
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 30
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 31
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 32
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 33
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - Commissioning Existing Airside Economizer Systems
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 35
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 36
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 37
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 38
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 39
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 40
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 41
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 42
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 43
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 44
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 45
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - How Indoor Environment Affects Performance
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 47
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 48
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 49
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 50
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 51
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 52
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 53
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - Thermally Active Floors: Part 3: Making it Work
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 55
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 56
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 57
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 58
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 59
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 60
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 61
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - Data Center Dilemma
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 63
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 64
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 65
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 66
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 67
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - Heat Recovery for School
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 69
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 70
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 71
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 72
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 73
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - Data Centers
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 75
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 76
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 77
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 78
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - Refrigeration Applications
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - Emerging Technologies
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 81
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 82
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 83
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - IAQ Applications
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 85
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - Engineer's Notebook
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 87
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 88
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 89
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 90
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 91
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 92
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 93
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - 94
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - Classified Advertising
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - Advertisers Index
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - Cover3
ASHRAE Journal - March 2013 - Cover4
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