Dr. Stephanie Taylor
CEO and Founder. Building4Health, Inc.
M.D., M. Architecture
Harvard Medical School Incite Health Fellow
ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer, Environmental Health Committee
USGBC Advisory Committee Member
Dr. Stephanie Taylor received her MD from Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts and subsequently practiced pediatric oncology while researching cellular growth control mechanisms for the next several decades.
While taking care of hospitalized patients, she became increasingly convinced that the healthcare facility played a significant role in patient healing and in the healthcare-associated infections that far too many patients acquired during their in-patient treatment. Determined to gain a better understanding of the impact of the built environment on patient healing, she returned to school and obtained her Master's Degree in Architecture. With new insights from her education, she delved into research on the relationship between indoor environments and clinical outcomes of hospitalized patients. Her research revealed new findings on the powerful role of indoor air quality in driving acute infections, chronic inflammation, cognitive impairment, and a multitude of other diseases. Not surprisingly, she found that the conditions that influence patient outcomes also contribute to health or disease in occupants of all building types.
In 2019 Dr. Taylor founded Building4Health, Inc. to scale the powerful yet underutilized approach of managing IAQ from a medical perspective to truly support occupant health.
To communicate the fascinating convergence of human health, microbiology and architecture, Dr. Taylor writes monthly columns and bi-annual feature articles for Engineered Systems Magazine and publishes in other healthcare journals. She is an ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer and is on the Environmental Health Committee. She is also a member of the US Green Building Council technical advisory board on Indoor Air Quality.
Dec 6, 2023, 10:10AM–10:20AM EST
The North Star - Occupant Health Guides Indoor Air Quality
Our biggest exposure – by far – is the air we breath. Each of us inhales an average of 2000 gallons of air a day of which 90% is from the indoor environment. During this obligatory process we draw into the depths of our lungs outdoor gases and particles mixed with indoor emissions from building materials, appliances, humans, pets as well as airborne microbes. It is no surprise that indoor air quality (IAQ) has an extensive influence on our physiology, impacting our respiratory, cardiovascular, immune, and nervous systems as well as our microbiome.
Despite the powerful impact of IAQ on occupant health and productivity, it is not managed through a medical lens. Instead, building designs and HVAC operations focus on aesthetics, comfort, energy conservation and avoidance of catastrophic building failures.
Finally this can change! Based on a deep understanding of medicine and environmental sciences, we have developed a platform to measure, analyze and visualize the real-time health impact of IAQ. When remediation is necessary, our monitoring and synthesis of an outdoor health score guides the most efficient and effective strategy for ventilation, filtration, and air-cleaning. The dual visualization of the health-impact of both indoor and outdoor conditions allows IAQ management to truly support human health, finally bridging the chasm between medicine and the built environment.