UCL Energy Institute


UCL Energy team wins medal for research into effects of higher CO2 levels on cognitive performance

1 July 2019

Researchers from the UCL Energy Institute’s Building Research theme have won the Napier Shaw Bronze Medal, awarded by CIBSE (Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers) for the best research paper published in their journal.

Ventilation pipes on ceiling of large hall

The paper, entitled ‘Possible future impacts of elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 on human cognitive performance and on the design and operation of ventilation systems in buildings’ was published in the CIBSE journal in July 2018. Its authors were Professor Robert Lowe (lead author), Dr Gesche Huebner, and Professor Tadj Oreszczyn.

The research received widespread media attention later that year, when it was picked up by med ia organisations around the world. It looked at the effect of predicted higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations on the cognitive performance of people in buildings by the end of the century. It also assessed the impact this may have on building ventilation systems and energy use, showing that a lot more work is needed to understand the problem. 

The Napier Shaw Bronze Medal is awarded each year by CIBSE in recognition of the highest rated research in the building services industry published by their journal,  Building Services Engineering Research and Technology (BSER&T).

The medal will be presented at the CIBSE President’s Awards Dinner in October.