Sloan Symposium II — Healthy Buildings 2012, Brisbane, Australia, July 9, 2012
written by Hal Levin
– Sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s microBEnet project under the Microbiology of the Built Environment program.
Following up on the Symposium held at indoor Air 2011 in Austin, Texas, microBEnet organized another symposium to take place at the HB2012 conference in Brisbane. The Symposium consisted of two sessions: A Technical Session including presentation of papers and a Workshop Session with discussion of issues of concern related to building science and microbial ecology.
The presentations posted on Slideshare represent some of the papers presented in the first session.
During the Discussion Session, participants were asked to comment on their concerns related to the building science and microbiology of the built environment — what we know and what we need to learn regarding the relationship between microbiology and building science. Following is a brief, preliminary bullet-list summary of some of the comments from the Discussion Session:
- We know we are in trouble when building materials and furnishings get wet
- We need to be careful not to lose sight of the focus on healthy buildings within the context of sustainability.
- There is a need to reduce remedial practices to a set of guidelines
- Need to understand the role of materials in the short and the long term
- Need to include toxicologists in our efforts to understand the problem better
- We need both a top down and a bottom up approach
- We need to look at water wherever it is found in buildings.
- There is a need for solutions to microbial problems found indoors.
- Particularly attention should be paid to spaces occupied by immune-compromised individuals
- Citizen science approaches to research should be explored
The Healthy Buildings conference series is one of the two regular conferences organized under the auspices of ISIAQ, the International Society for Indoor Air Quality and Climate. HB2012 was attended by more than 500 researchers and practitioners from all continents. The HB conference series focuses on a broad range of topics all related to the topic of healthy buildings. At HB2012, in addition to the Sloan Symposium, there were seven technical sessions on the topic of Dampness and Mold. Other topics spanned a range from ventilation issues to building materials to energy efficiency.