Harnessing the Power of Healthy Buildings Research to Advance Health for All

“We believe that the most important aspect of this burgeoning healthy buildings movement is ensuring that the research and its application benefits everyone, everywhere. A future of healthy buildings that is confined to a select few would be a gross failing. Researchers must play an important role here by creating studies that include: globally diverse buildings and exposures; races and ethnicities that have been historically under-represented in research; a focus on the unique needs, physiology, and preferences of women; and exploring the entirety of the reproduction and life cycles, from pre-conception through advanced aging.”

Meet the Harvard Healthy Buildings Team

NEW: Portable Air Cleaner Sizing Tool (PACS) to Select Appropriately Sized Air Cleaners for Indoor Spaces

The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the relevance of improved indoor air quality as nearly all spread indoors happened in poorly ventilated rooms. Hence, healthy indoor environments should be the first line of defense against respiratory viruses. 

Portable air cleaning is one of several methods to improve the health of occupants by removing airborne particles from the air. Therefore, the Healthy Buildings Team developed a user-friendly air cleaner sizing tool. Based on “clean air” targets and room size, the online calculator defines the ideal “clean air delivery rate” (CADR) to select an appropriately sized air cleaner. For users who already have an air cleaner, the tool can also calculate the suitable room size to place it.

NEW: Lancet Report: “Proposed Non-infectious Air Delivery Rates (NADR) for Reducing Exposure to Airborne Respiratory Infectious Diseases”

To advance the conversation around health-based ventilation targets for airborne respiratory pathogens, the Lancet Task Force on Safe Work / School / Travel reviewed the scientific evidence around ventilation and disease transmission for SARS-CoV-2 and other airborne pathogens. As chair of the task force, Dr. Joseph Allen, Director of the Healthy Buildings Team at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, underlines: “ The important scientific debates about metrics and targets must continue, yet these debates should not deter us from improving ventilation now.”

Healthy Building Webinar on Improving Indoor Air Quality in Long-Term Care Facilities

Public Health Program for Business Leaders

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s program for Business Leaders, co-directed by Drs. Joseph Allen and Richard Siegrist, emphasizes higher expectations around health protection, promotion, and equity for a “health-first” era. Read more below from the latest news.