The human body is populated with trillions of microorganisms, collectively termed the human microbiome, that play vital roles in health including nutrition and metabolism, immune development, and protection against pathogens. Likewise, the homes and buildings we inhabit, or the built environment, possess their own microbiomes as well. A growing body of evidence indicates that people, pets, plants, and ventilation and plumbing systems all contribute distinctive suites of microbes indoors, in addition to environmental microbes introduced from outside. Given that humans spend the vast majority of their lives inside, there is a pressing need to understand how the built environment microbiome in turn influences the human microbiome so that we can design buildings that promote and sustain health. In this presentation I will highlight the ways in which humans alter the composition of the indoor environment and what the consequences may be for human health.
Learning Objective 1: Understand the significance of the indoor microbiome to human health
Learning Objective 2: Discuss evidence for how occupancy and operation of buildings can influence the indoor microbiome