Brett Singer Among Experts on National Indoor Air Quality Panel

December 5, 2022

A building's indoor air quality (IAQ) plays a key role in the health, comfort, and performance of the people who spend countless hours in offices, homes, and other indoor spaces. From mold to cooking smoke to airborne viruses such as Covid-19 and the common cold, factors both seen and unseen come into play when determining IAQ. Experts at a recent conference hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security presented the tools and strategies homeowners, building operators, schools, and other organizations across the U.S. can adopt to improve indoor air quality.

"National Strategy for Improving Indoor Air Quality," held in September in Washington, DC, brought a panel of experts together — including Brett Singer, a staff scientist and head of the Sustainable Energy and Environmental Systems Department in the Energy Technologies Area of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) — for a day of discussion and presentations around the current state of the indoor air quality field.

After a keynote address from Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House's COVID-19 Response Coordinator, a quartet of panel discussions explored:

  • the importance of establishing high standards for IAQ

  • the challenges to providing healthy indoor air across the United States 

  • international perspectives and strategies for healthy air improvements

  • pathways for promoting research and technological advancements in the field

Singer participated in a panel focused on opportunities to drive scientific and technological innovation supporting high-quality indoor air and reductions in disease transmission — a core component of his work as leader of Berkeley Lab's Indoor Environment Group and co-leader of IAQ research in the Residential Building Systems Group.

"This workshop was an incredible opportunity to discuss long-lasting changes in how we design and manage indoor environmental conditions in U.S. buildings. Doing so will lead to improvements in health and well-being, student learning, and worker productivity," Singer said.

"I was honored to join a team of experts and present pathways for establishing research priorities in this area — from maximizing the effectiveness of common controls such as ventilation, filtration, and good air mixing to advanced measures like germicidal ultraviolet air cleaning. I'm grateful to Johns Hopkins leadership and Dr. Jha for working so effectively to translate science into policy and practice."

A full report of the conference's activities is available on the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security website.