COVID19 has immediately impacted building design and operation and the results will transform architecture, commissioning, and building operation practices for decades to come. It is also shifting the conversations and priorities around human health, energy efficiency, and non-energy benefits. Dr. Van Den Wymelenberg is an expert in indoor air quality and directs the University of Oregon Biology and the Built Environment (BioBE) Center that has been studying the indoor microbiome with funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. He will contextualize the current pandemic with regard to historic changes to architectural design following previous pandemics, summarize a decade of discovery about the indoor microbiome (including information about fungi, bacteria, and viruses), present results from testing buildings for the novel coronavirus over the last four months. He will provide insights into how to reopen and operate buildings to support human health as we move forward through and beyond COVID19, and facilitate a discussion about the balance (conflicts and synergies) between health and energy in buildings.
Dr. Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg, Professor of Architecture at the University of Oregon, founded the Institute for Health in the Built Environment (https://buildhealth.uoregon.edu/) and directs the Biology and the Built Environment Center and Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory. His work seeks to broaden the network of researchers and practitioners such that issues concerning health, comfort, and sustainability in the human ecosystem are addressed in a way that benefits our work, our community, and our planet. He has a PhD in the Built Environment from the University of Washington. He has consulted on several hundred new construction and major renovation projects with architects and engineers, and several of these projects have been recognized with AIA’s Committee on the Environment Top 10 Awards.