Plenary Session | Monday 9 July | 8:30am – 9:30am | Room: Plaza Terrace Auditorium

Session Chairs:
Richard Shaughnessy
Yoon Shin Kim


Professor Jiang Yi

Professor, Tsinghua University, School of Architecture
Director of the Building Energy Research Centre at Tsinghua University and
Co-director of the Tsinghua-UPENN Centre for Building Simulation and Energy.

How is building energy used related with occupants behaviors and the building usage modes? 

Building energy data around the world have been given based on statistical data combined with some case study data for both office buildings and residential. Very large differences have been found for same function buildings between different countries. Study has been made to understand the reasons for these differences. It shows that the differences are not due to the difference in technics used in these buildings but caused by different usage modes and the behaviors of the occupants.

Simulation mode has then developed to modelling the building energy performance under different usages. It shows how large difference in energy use the occupant behavior can cause. According to the total energy that the earth can provide us for operate buildings for whole human settlement,  we need both energy saving technologies and energy saving usage modes. However further study has discovered that most of energy saving technics are heavy relyed on the real occupant behaviors and building usage modes. Some technics appears great saving with high energy usage mode but cannot make any change when working at low energy usage modes.

Vice versa, some measures work very well when the building operated at low energy mode but may raise energy when operated at high energy mode. Therefrom, what should be the reference usage mode when we evaluate the building energy performance at the design stage or when we evaluate an energy saving technic? It is very important to set up right for the reference usage mode according to the real possible usage modes.


Professor Phillipa Howden-Chapman

Director of the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities, Department of Public Health, University of Otago

Co-benefits of Making Housing Healthier

The indoor environment is where we spend most of our time and so is the most important exposure for our health. We have completed two community randomised trials, the Housing, Insulation and Health Study and the Housing, Heating and Health Study, that have demonstrated the effectiveness of retrofitting insulation and installing effective, non-polluting heaters in improving health. A subsequent evaluation of the first 45,000 houses in a national roll-out of this programme has shown additional benefits in reducing hospitalisations and premature mortality. Our latest two trials are providing electricity vouchers to older people with chronic respiratory diseases in the WHEZ study and remediating home hazards in the HIPI study.

These trials have highlighted that there are significant health gains to be made from improving the indoor environment in existing housing, as well as making significant gains in energy efficiency, which highlight additional benefits in reducing energy demand and thereby lowering carbon emissions. These measures can lower the costs of running a house and when combined with building new housing along public transit routes, can lower transport costs. Housing, energy and transport costs represent the major household expenditures and have been identified as the main areas where carbon savings can be made.


Plenary Session | Tuesday 10 July | 8:30am – 9:30am | Room: Plaza Terrace Auditorium

Session Chairs:
Yang Xu
Tunga Salthammer
Matti Jantunen –obituary Helmut Knöppel


Professor Peter Newman

Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University

Race Against Time: Population, Urban Growth & Miracles of Innovation

The exponential growth in population and consumption of fossil fuels has been seen since the 1960′s as a race against time to turn around before planetary ecological systems collapse. For the first time in history we can begin to see some reductions in these growth patterns with peaks and declines indicating that the necessary changes are underway. The trends in population, fossil fuel investment, and car use offer considerable hope for the future. The critical role of cities and innovation in enabling these changes and the need for continuing growth in green urbanism will be stressed. The role of health in supporting positive urban change instead of anti-urbanism as in some public health approaches will be outlined.


Bert Fabian

Transport Program Manager, Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia) Centre 


Plenary Session | Wednesday 11 July | 8:30am – 9:30am | Room: Plaza Terrace Auditorium

Session Chairs:
Shin-ichi Tanabe
Richard De Dear


Professor Clive Beggs

Chair, Medical Technology, School of Engineering, Design & Technology, University of Bradford

Hidden Systems: The Transmission of Infection in Healthcare Facilities

One feature of many infectious diseases is that in order for transmission to occur, individuals must come together in close proximity to each other. Consequently, the spread of infection can readily occur in buildings and in passenger transport vehicles, where individuals may spend many hours sharing the same enclosed space. The ease with which infections can spread in hospitals clearly demonstrates this. Yet our understanding of the role that the built environment plays in the transmission of infection is poor.

Infections are systems, whose behaviour is influenced by many complex factors. Yet all too often this fundamental fact is not fully appreciated. Too often microbiologists confuse knowledge of a particular pathogen gained in the laboratory, with the dynamics of any infectious outbreak that might be caused by that pathogen – the two are very different. In any outbreak of infection, the causative agent, the microorganism, is only one component amongst many that will influence how many individuals eventually become infected. Failure to recognise this, has resulted in a gross imbalance in the research undertaken in the field. While much work has been carried out into the gene expression of microorganisms, relatively little translational research has been undertaken to understand the dynamics of infectious systems. As a result, the epidemiology of many infections is poorly understood. This is particularly the case with hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), which are a major problem in healthcare facilities around the world. This lack of understanding is well illustrated by the experience of the UK in recent years. In hospitals, it is generally accepted that infections caused by MRSA and Clostridium difficile are predominantly spread by the handborne route. Consequently, prior to 2007, infection control clinicians in the UK focuses all their attention on increasing hand hygiene compliance. Unfortunately, while this policy was in place, infections caused by MSRA and C. difficile in the UK rose steadily, year on year. When the focus of this policy was switched, in about 2007, to include other measures such as: the deep cleaning of wards; the introduction of care bundles; the introduction of patient cohorting; and the screening of patients; MRSA and C. difficile infection rates fell by >50%. Collectively, this suggests that our previous understanding of the epidemiology of MRSA and C. difficile infections was deeply flawed. Clearly, factors other than purely handborne transmission are at work and when these were addressed, so infection rates started to tumble.

One major feature of the UK hospital experience is that the reduction in HAIs coincided with a renewed emphasis on hospital cleaning and the introduction of deep cleaning of hospital wards. This raises intriguing questions as to the role that the clinical environment might play in the spread of HAI. Previously thought to be of little importance compared with hand-borne carriage, the clinical environment has been shown to be a major reservoir for nosocomial pathogens. In addition, it has been shown that aerial dissemination resulting in surface contamination can play an influential role in the transmission of some infections. This has lead to the recognition that the cleanliness of the clinical environment is more important than previously thought, and has renewed interest in the role that architects, engineers and facility managers might play in designing out infection.


A/Professor Raymond Tellier

Medical Microbiologist, Provincial Laboratory for Public Health of Alberta, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases, University of Calgary

Infectious bio-aerosols: the example of influenza.

Some infectious agents can be acquired by inhalation of aerosol-sized particles ( < 5-10 µm); some infectious disease can be transmitted from an infected patient through generation of infectious aerosols, typically by coughing or sneezing. In this presentation the genesis of infectious bio-aerosols and the mechanism of infection acquisition through inhalation of bio-aerosols will be reviewed, with examples drawn from influenza including some of the evidence supporting a role for aerosol transmission of influenza. Basic properties of aerosol dispersion will be reviewed, as well as biological decay of infectivity in aerosolized influenza virus and its modulation by physical parameters including relative humidity. The concept of long range infection will be examined, including how it is affected by different parameters including ventilation, biological decay, viral load in the source host and the infectious dose required to initiate infection.

From an understanding of the physics and physiology of bio-aerosols follows some implication for minimizing aerosol transmission in buildings, which has implication, for example, for influenza control including in pandemic scenarios. Basic interventions include adequate ventilation, and control of the temperature and relative humidity; there is a regain of interest in upper room air decontamination through ultra-violet irradiation (UVC band). Interestingly, control measures could work synergistically.


Plenary Session | Thursday 12 July | 8:30am – 9:30am | Room: Plaza Terrace Auditorium

Session Chairs:
William Nazaroff
Martin Betts


On the Shoulders of Giants

On The Wake Of Rio+20: One Planet, One Air.

Joana Madureira, Student – Doctor in Occupational Safety and Health, Faculty of Engineering of University of Porto.

Quantitative questions, quality answers

Sam Clifford BAppSc (Hons), Student – Doctor of Philosophy, Queensland University of Technology

My IAQ Journey From Qianjiang to Brisbane!

Mengyan Gong, Ph. D candidate, Department of Building Science, Tsinghua University


Professor Charlie Weschler

Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, UMDNJ/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School & Rutgers University
Visiting Professor (since 2001), International Centre for Indoor Environment and Energy, Technical University of Denmark
Visiting Professor (since 2010), Department of Building Science, Tsinghua University

Healthy Buildings Research: New Developments, Future Directions and Potential Solutions

This talk, one researcher’s subjective evaluation, will address selected advances from the mix of sciences that inform the design and operation of healthy buildings. Advances include: the increasing use of biomarkers to identify chemical exposures, coupled with analyses indicating that indoor exposures account for a large fraction of the man-made chemicals found in our bodies; the use of gene sequence analysis to trace sources contributing to indoor particles, dust and surface films; still more studies suggesting that certain indoor pollutants can function as endocrine disruptors; new evidence that the common cold is at least partially transmitted via air; the finding that indoor exposures to pollutants of outdoor origin (ozone and PM2.5) partially explains the mortality ascribed to these pollutants; further characterization of indoor sources of particles in different size-ranges;  and progress in assessing the acute and chronic health impacts of pollutants measured in residences.

These advances presage future directions and solutions to healthy building problems. Better assays for endocrine disrupting chemicals and increased predictive power regarding which chemical additives can mimic hormones are “in progress”. Relatedly, EPA’s TOXCAST, coupled with the EU’s REACH, promise to improve our knowledge of the toxicity of chemicals used, or about to be introduced in, commerce. We can anticipate further reduction of noxious chemical and particulate emissions from office equipment in developed regions and from cookstoves in developing regions. Additives such as plasticizers, flame retardants and antioxidants will be less “migratory” and often bound to the matrix which contains them. Better sensors will be developed to alert us to harmful chemicals within buildings. More efficient filtration and catalytic degradation will facilitate the removal of certain indoor pollutants. Such developments should promote progress towards the integrated triad of energy efficient, sustainable and healthy buildings.