Course Materials: Human Health and the Design of the Urban Microbiome

This last winter, Gwynne Mhuireach at the University of Oregon taught a really interesting course entitled “Human Health and the Design of the Urban Microbiome”.  She posted a description of the final “design charrette” here on microBEnet awhile back.  I just asked her if she’d be willing to share her course materials for others interested …

2016 AIA South Atlantic Region Conference Call for Presentation

Just got this email and thought it might be of interest to some: AIA South Atlantic Region seeks innovative speakers and facilitators for presentations to be offered during the 2016 Regional Conference in Wilmington, NC, September 29 — October 1. This conference will provide the highest amount of Continuing Education Units for architect members in …

Making microbiology of the built environment relevant to design

The title of this commentary in Microbiome, “Making microbiology of the built environment relevant to design” gets right to the heart of one of the long-standing issues in the field.  Thanks in no small part to the Sloan Foundation program in the Microbiology of the Built Environment, as well as technological changes in DNA sequencing… …

Berkeley balcony collapse: A failure at the intersection of building science and microbiology

I saw the tweet below from James Scott first thing this morning, linking to a NY Times article about the tragic balcony collapse in Berkeley, CA two days ago: Fungi to blame for fatal Berkeley balcony collapse, via @nytimes http://t.co/MLWX24x4Z1 – James Scott (@jscott_toronto) June 18, 2015 From the article: The engineers said photographs taken by …

Review of Architectural Design Drives the Biogeography of Indoor Bacterial Communities

By Amanda Makowiecki 1st Year Mechanical Engineering PhD Student Miller Research Group, University of Colorado Boulder Researchers at the University of Oregon recently published a paper examining the connection between architectural design and microbial diversity in our buildings (Kembel et al. 2014). Although occupancy type was identified as the strongest predictor of microbial variation, several …

Fascinating look and Microbes, Architecture and the Anthropocene from Nicholas Korody

I am starting to think a lot about the connections between architecture and microbiology – in part in preparation for the American Institute for Architects Annual Meeting in Atlanta May 14-16 where I will be participating in sessions on “microbes in the built environment” The tentative details for the sessions are Session: Microbes in the Built Environment: Perspectives …

A disturbing trend – casual and reckless use of antimicrobial agents in building materials.

There was a very interesting artilce in the New York Times on August 21 bu Michael Kimmelman: In Redesigned Room, Hospital Patients May Feel Better Already.  The article focuses on a move by the University Medical Center of Princeton to redesign hospital rooms.  And Kimmelman discusses a variety of issues associated with hospital design. And there were …

A heartbreaking dome of staggering magnitude

Alex Pasternack at Vice.com’s Motherboard channel has some very interesting thoughts on domes. Giant, massive, city-bestriding domes, starting with the Great Stink Dome of Hangzhou, which was erected to contain vapors emanating from the site of a former insecticide factory. Pasternack’s article discusses some of the fascinating history related to the idea of dropping domes …

Susceptibility of green and conventional building materials to microbial growth

“Susceptibility of green and conventional building materials to microbial growth” Indoor Air journal, accepted for publication Abstract Green building materials are becoming more popular. However, little is known about their ability to support or limit microbial growth. The growth of fungi was evaluated on five building materials. Two green, two conventional building materials and wood …