The effect of indoor light spectrum and intensity on viability and infectivity of indoor pathogens on different surface materials

Indoor environments have became a predominant habitat for modern individuals. Physical spaces can have meaningful effects on how we feel, how we interact with others, and how we perceive our experiences. Comfort in physical spaces encompasses different facets including thermal comfort, visual comfort, noise nuisance, as well as indoor air quality. Combination of these make a built environment a healthy environment for its occupant. Recently, glass facades have gained popularity not only due to their aesthetic appearance but also because of more day light and connecting the occupants with outdoor environment. In contrast, ordinary windows are often far from optimized, unable to effectively reduce glare and heat, leading to rapid change in indoor thermal environment near the glass façade. A growing body of recent research has been conducted on optimizing design of building envelopes using dynamic (smart) windows, to ensure a trade-off between energy consumption and occupants’ thermal and visual comfort. However, the effect of using smart glass (instead of blinds), bringing more natural light, and lower UV penetration in indoor spaces, on accumulation and dispersal of microorganisms as well as survival of indoor pathogens are not yet known in depth.

Michael Zhao
Faculty Supervisor: 
Sepideh Pakpour
British Columbia
Partner University: