My air, my space,
my health

The science of buildings that help us thrive.

Nothing is more fundamental than the air we breathe

Deprived of it we would die in minutes. In modern life we mostly breathe indoors, where we might take air quality for granted; but this internal atmosphere is as complex and variable as the weather. Keeping it safe for humans is an unmet challenge. Ideally we would want to minimise efficiently all threats to a healthy indoor atmosphere, for our physical and mental comfort – if only we could.

The science of maintaining air quality in our buildings without environmental disruption is no easier than designing extraterrestrial buildings where there is no external atmosphere. The indoor–outdoor interface is what makes air quality in Earth’s buildings so elusive.

A single ambitious aim

In this Laureate Fellowship program we aim to build scientific and technological foundations for optimising the air space in present and future building systems: to improve health, wellbeing, and thermal comfort, with reduced energy consumption and no economic and climate-related detriment.

We will address four research questions (RQs), advancing science and technology and enabling real applications:

  1. How can a building system dynamically adapt to the number and location of people in its space, and their activities in real time? That is, how can it “understand” the human–space interface and actively support it?
  2. Is it scientifically possible to identify pathogens in indoor air in real time, to warn of hazards and enable quantitative risk assessment and implementation of system controls?
  3. Can the emerging low-cost sensing technologies for particles and gases be harnessed for design of a response system to control the indoor–outdoor interface, minimising indoor airborne pollution?
  4. How can we engineer the interactive whole, based on a Bayesian adaptive design approach, to support autonomous control of the indoor atmosphere at optimal settings?

The ARC Training Centre for Advanced Building Systems Against Airborne Infection Transmission is funded by the Australian Government and industry partners through the Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Training Centre Program.