The vision of this national research center, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, is to develop a hypothesis-driven, evidence-based approached to understand the built environment microbiome. Our goal is to optimize the design and operation of buildings to promote both human health and environmental sustainability, with an emphasis on green healthcare design.
The webcast on “Making the Human Health Connection: Healthy Buildings, Healthy People and Healthy Communities” on April 23rd was stimulating and informative. Highlights included:
Judith Heerwagen’s comment that perhaps buildings should be designed more like modern zoos, which value the inclusion of critical elements of the natural environment in order to keep their occupants not only alive, but also psychologically healthy.
Kate Turpin’s discussion of technological innovations in design and construction that are currently being implemented to improve indoor environmental quality (IEQ) – including consideration of indoor air quality, acoustics, biophilia and access to daylight.
Matt Trowbridge’s observations that specificity is a requirement in order for designers to make decisions based on the results of scientific health research.
We are excited to reach out to this community and find opportunities for new collaborations!
Berkeley Lab researchers work on new building standards after discovering previously unknown indoor air pollutants.
“Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) made the discovery that the aggregate health consequences of poor indoor air quality are as significant as those from all traffic accidents or infectious diseases in the United States. One major source of indoor pollutants in the home is cooking.”
See the article here.
Here’s one for those biologists trying to get their head around the way architects work and think — a new documentary film, “Archiculture” to be released later this month explores today’s education of tomorrow’s architects and designers. Check out the trailer and film info at the website: archiculturefilm.com.
Jessica participated in the HOPES Conference at the University of Oregon last week on a panel discussing the “Limits and Opportunities of Design.” The panel was comprised of diverse perspectives on building design including experts in sociology, chemistry, and architecture.
HOPES (Holistic Options for Planet Earth Sustainability) is an annual conference that began in 1995 which “works to promote the deeper understanding and broader application of sustainable design principles.”
Jessica Green’s most recent TED talk is now available — she talks about how our current building design is unconsciously designing the built environment microbiome. With some great data visualizations from a collaboration with Autodesk she discusses using “bioinformed design” to intentionally structure microbial communities around us.
The BioBE Center now has a page on Facebook! Like us to check out all our photos and news updates.
Several Sloan funded groups working in the built environment had a great video conference session on bioaerosol sampling methods. You can check out the session recording on youtube.
Look for another session coming up on surface swabbing methods.
Autodesk’s “Project Cyborg” is hoping to make a splash at this week’s TED Conference in Long Beach, CA and is featured in a NYTimes article. Project Cyborg is described as “a Web-based software platform for delivering a range of services like molecular modeling and simulation.”
The BioBE Center has been working with Project Cyborg to visualize microbial ecosystems in the built environment, work that Jessica Green will present at the TED conference as well.