Building Performance Insights - December 2018

Welcome to December's Building Performance Insights.

We hope you caught some of the media coverage of our groundbreaking research that describes how you can improve staff's cognitive accuracy by up to 12% and cognitive speed by 60%, through simple and fundamental interventions to the office environment.

You can download the full report from the WLP+ site, or scroll down to read a summary of the findings.

To complement our groundbreaking research, we continue our Productivity Heaven series - this month we outline how to analyse your data, and plan the adjustments to improve conditions in your buildings that will result in more productive staff, and more engaged customers.

We can't resist sharing our Christmas plans and traditions such as wholly unnecessary strenuous activity, choosing to watch the same movie every year, and competitive intellectual pursuits!

Finally we look at news of the strong London office market that is confounding Brexit predictions.

I hope you find our newsletter and ideas helpful. Do get in touch if you’d like to discuss how we can help you improve the performance and productivity of your people, buildings and estates.


John O'Brien
Founder and MD
t: 01295 722823


New UK research shows high CO2 concentrations in offices are decreasing people’s cognitive capability

We all instinctively know that poor office conditions lead to dissatisfied, unproductive and unwell building occupants. However, until now the relationship between indoor environmental conditions and productivity has been largely studied in the laboratory.

The research:

Whole Life Performance Plus (WLP+) is a £530,000 three-year study, led by Oxford Brookes University and LCMB Building Performance, with funding support by Innovate UK and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

We studied people’s performance in real world environments and found that office environments can dramatically undermine people’s wellbeing and productivity.

Workers from the two case study buildings took proofreading, numerical, and Stroop tests in a variety of indoor temperatures, CO2 levels and Relative Humidity conditions which were adjusted to test the impact on performance. Over 250 staff undertook a total of over 7,850 surveys and tasks to complete the analysis. 

The findings:

The research found that when CO2 levels were lowered, people completed the tests dramatically faster and scored better:

  • Test scores improved by up to 12%
  • Where test speed was measured in one building, people worked 60% faster in lower CO2concentrations, taking a mean of 8.2 minutes to complete a test in low CO2 concentrations, compared with 13.3 minutes in modest CO2 concentrations.

The implications of this ground-breaking study are dramatic... Read on.



Five steps to productivity heaven

Five steps to productivity heaven

Our 3 year research programme provides clear measurable evidence that if you don't get temperature, light, CO2 and humidity levels (among other factors) right, your staff productivity is dramatically compromised. Our research shows that offices rarely have the optimal levels.

We're serialising our step by step process for companies to measure and improve the working environment, to improve productivity and wellbeing.

To get all the steps immediately, download the full guide for free here, otherwise, read on.

Here is a summary of the five steps.

1. Engage stakeholders
Covered in October.

 2. Collect data
Covered in November.

3. Analyse and Plan
Scroll down to read

4. Run projects
To be covered in January 2019.

5. Monitor, evaluate and improve
To be covered in February 2019.


Productivity Heaven Series 

Productivity Heaven Series

Step 3: Anaylse and Plan 

If you've been following the Productivity Heaven series, you may have generated a lot of data in the previous step (step 2), so the first challenge is to make sense of it all.  The following approach will help you do this:

a. Undertake a high-level review of the data collected to  check the quality of the information and get an idea of what  areas are likely to be of most here to read on or download the complete guide here.


LCMB news

We're taking time off, and some of us can't resist sharing our Christmas plans..


"I'm having a quiet Christmas this year at home with the family ranging from 13 to 94.

With two teenagers in the house, its now the case we have to wake them up to get up Christmas Day as we want to open our presents! 

Gone were the days of being up at 5am - thankfully!

As for New Year we will be out celebrating with friends and then as New Years Day is my birthday we will go out for some lunch.  Its not the best day to have a birthday and maybe this year I will be the like the Queen and have a second one in the Summer and have a birthday BBQ… why not?"


"I’m looking forward to Christmas with my wife, daughters, brother in law, his family and his mother in law in St. Albans. We’ll follow that with a week in Cornwall by the sea near St. Ives visiting my sister and her husband.

My Christmas tradition is.. a Christmas morning run with friends for the last few years, come rain or shine, which has proven to be a great way to build up an appetite for a very large lunch!

I'm hoping for better health for some family and friends in 2019 who have been unwell in 2018. I find Christmas so special because it's a great time of year to stop, relax and spend quality time with family and friends."


"I’m spending Xmas with my wife, parents and as many other family members as will fit around the table, at my parents house in Bickleigh, Devon

I think we have a "normal" Christmas, with one stand-out tradition -  an all-against-my-Dad-and-I trivial pursuit game... probably because we're such know-it-alls! We rarely win.

I'm hoping that I got everyone a present they'll enjoy. Christmas is an important time of year, as it's a chance to see family, and show your appreciation of them by buying them a massive Toblerone (Spoiler Alert, sorry Dad)."


"I’ll be with my own family on Christmas morning, then with the in-laws for lunch. We’ll be mostly at home interspersed with trips to see friends through the period 

Our Christmas tradition is that my wife and I always watch a film on Christmas eve - it's been "It's a wonderful life" for at least 9 out of every 10 years! 

I’m looking forward for a chance to draw breath, eat a bit too much and catch up with myself, friends and family."

We hope you have a wonderful Christmas too.


In the news 

Strong London office market confounds Brexit predictions 

Roughly £12bn of space changed hands in first three quarters of 2018

“The investment market has been remarkably resilient since the [Brexit] vote. Investors who are here for the long term are looking through Brexit and out the other side,” said James Beckham, managing director at CBRE.

“Following the shock that the market took in the immediate aftermath of the [Brexit] vote we have been consistently surprised by the robustness of demand,” said William Beardmore-Gray, global head of occupier services at Knight Frank. “Occupiers and businesses, rightly or wrongly, seem to have priced in a ‘soft’ Brexit.”

Read the full article here.


Last month most popular blog 

LCMB blogs cover a range of building performance and related issues. 

Our most popular blog in November was Productivity Heaven Series, Step 2


LCMB Workplace Optimisation

Whole Life Performance Plus (WLP+) is a LCMB innovation to improve workplace productivity by 10% and reduce energy use by 30% by optimising ventilation, light, noise and other indoor environmental factors.

LCMB are proud to work with partners Innovate UK, EPSRC, Argent, King’s College London, Emcor UK, British Council for Office, Constructing Excellence, Oxford Brookes University to develop an indoor environmental quality model to maximise worker productivity. Contact Tom Cudmore, Senior Consultant on t: 01295 722823 e: or visit to find out more.

LCMB's accelerated ROI audit

Too many organisations spend large sums of money on the wrong initiatives that generate a poor return or even a loss.

This is why we created the LCMB accelerated ROI audit. It cuts through the noise and quickly, clearly identifies the untapped performance improvement areas within your buildings.

The audit uncovers operational inefficiencies such as under-utilised space and facilities, as well as cost and energy reduction opportunities, and then provides a clear plan for realising potential.

By implementing the plan, we guarantee the audit pays for itself within 6 months and thereafter generates a positive return.

Contact John O’Brien on t: 01295 722823, e: to discuss how the LCMB accelerated ROI audit can improve your organisation performance and return on investment.

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