Sloan Foundation at Healthy Buildings 2015 America

Greetings from the Healthy Buildings Conference Committee! We are excited to be hosting Healthy Buildings 2015 America in Boulder, Colorado, at the University of Colorado Boulder. Healthy Buildings is a unique forum for built environment researchers and professionals to engage with innovative projects, products, and services and to meet and collaborate with colleagues working on the pressing global challenge of making buildings healthy, energy efficient, and sustainable.

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This years conference theme is Innovation in a Time of Energy Uncertainty and Climate Adaptation. Topics that will be presented include sustainable buildings, health building issues, mission critical environments, and indoor environmental factors and human health.  Conference papers are being accepted through Jan 22, 2015.

The Sloan Foundation will be sponsoring a series of events at the conference.  A plenary speaker will present on the microbiology of the building environment. Sloan-funded researchers will present their research in a workshop so that the results can be utilized to promote, design, and operate healthy buildings. A panel of practitioners and researchers that will demonstrate key methods related to assessing Healthy Buildings and the Microbiology of the Built Environment. One social and one career event will be planned to promote collaboration between researchers, practitioners, and students.

A workshop will be organized that bring together a group of 8 MoBE grantees from both the microbiology and building science fields to present their work in the context of dissemination and implementation. Speakers will be invited from the Sloan list of grantees who are more applied in their research programs or have disseminated their work through papers that interpreted the science in a practical way. They will also be a combination of microbiologists and engineers, and also a mix of male and female researchers. The talks be short and focused on what is translatable in the research findings. Time for a question and answer period would follow each presentation, and detailed notes would be available for all participants in the session, including contact information. This workshop will be held in the morning of Day 2 of the conference, Monday Jul 20.

A panel will be convened of both practitioners and researchers to address how the microbiology of the built environment is currently being assessed with a demonstration of techniques that can be used by practitioners. This session is designed to be much more interactive and hands on. Methods will be demonstrated for collecting microbial samples including swab sampling and open plate sampling. Instrumentation will be demonstrated that is used to make equilibrium humidity, particulate matter, and CO2 measurements. Once microbial samples are collected, they must be analyzed. Pros and cons of culturing, microscopy, and DNA/RNA sequencing will be discussed. Suggestions for meta-data interpretations and how to analyze these data will be included. Protocols will be provided for all techniques presented to collect microbiological samples and building meta-data. How to interpret the data will be presented. This panel will take place in the afternoon of Day 2 of the conference, Monday Jul 20.

One social and one professional event will be organized for Tuesday Day 3 of the conference, after the Panel and Workshop that take place on Monday Day 2 of the conference, with the goal of meeting each other and finding common interests. Input from students will be explicitly incorporated into the planning of these events to ensure that they are engaged. The social event will be a breakfast on Day 3 of the conference, held at the engineering center before the plenary (8-9am). The professional event is a career lunch discussion, which includes academics, practitioners, consultants, engineers, and scientists, to talk about their career paths and answer questions from students. This career discussion will take place during the lunchtime of Day 3, in a special room at the C4C (this is the location on campus for conference lunches). Specific individuals selected by the students will be invited to this event.

 We encourage you to submit papers and plan on attending our conference!
On behalf of the Conference Committee, Shelly Miller, Conference President.

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Shelly Miller

Shelly Miller is an environmental engineering professor at the University of Colorado Boulder.