Dr. Joseph G. Allen is an associate professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and co-author of Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity, with John Macomber at Harvard Business School. He began his career conducting forensic health investigations of sick buildings in several hundred buildings across a diverse range of industries, including healthcare, biotechnology, education, commercial office real estate and manufacturing.
At Harvard, Dr. Allen directs the Healthy Buildings program where he created ‘The 9 Foundations of a Healthy Building’. He is also the faculty advisor to the Harvard Healthier Building Academy. He works with Fortune 500 companies on implementing Healthy Building strategies in their global portfolios and presents internationally on the topic of Healthy Buildings.
His work has been featured widely in the popular press, including the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, National Geographic, Time, NPR, Newsweek, The Washington Post, Fortune and The New York Times. Dr. Allen is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology and an Associate Editor of the journal Indoor Air. He earned his Doctor of Science (DSc) and Master of Public Health (MPH) degrees from the Boston University School of Public Health, and a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Biology from Boston College.
Jonathan Buonocore, Sc.D. is an Assistant Professor at the Boston University School of Public Health. His research mainly focuses on evaluating the health impacts of energy systems, and modeling health “co-benefits” of climate mitigation strategies and energy policies.
He has evaluated air pollution related health impacts from a number of sectors, including electricity generation, transportation, buildings, and oil and gas production. He has also modeled the health co-benefits of strategies including further buildout of renewable energy in the United States, Federal carbon emissions standards on power plants, carbon cap-and-invest policies for transportation in the Northeast U.S., and building electrification.
Currently, he is developing methods to better incorporate equity and environmental justice (EJ) concerns into climate and energy policy assessments, along with evaluating other possible unintended consequences. He is also leading work evaluating exposed populations, infrastructure quality, and potential health impacts around underground natural gas storage facilities, pipelines, and other “midstream” infrastructure, along with evaluating novel technologies to decarbonize building heating.
As a Co-PI of the Co-benefits of Built Environment (CoBE) project, she is leading the CoBE team at Oregon State University and collaborating with other CoBE team members at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Boston University School of Public Health. The teams are working closely together to develop the next versions of CoBE tool and its various modules including co-benefits of specific climate policies, water savings co-benefits of built environment, energy conservation pathway optimization, and building-to-grid integration.
At Oregon State University, Dr. Salimifard leads the Sustainable, Healthy, And Resilient Buildings Lab. The lab’s research projects have crossovers to fluid dynamics, aerosol science, energy efficiency, sustainability, and environmental health. One of the core research areas is indoor environmental quality, particularly control and mitigation of building occupants’ exposure to contaminants and allergen- and virus-carrier particles indoors. Dr. Salimifard has conducted research on aerosols dynamics and sensing; more specifically on particle transport, deposition, resuspension, and aerosol sensing and size characterization. The most recent and emergent contributions of these research projects are in COVID-19 exposure mitigation and control. She has also worked on building energy modeling and investigating the trade-offs between the energy conservation measures installation and indoor air quality.
Before joining Oregon State University, Dr. Salimifard was a postdoctoral fellow with the Healthy Buildings Program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She earned her Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Architectural Engineering – Mechanical Option with a minor in Computational Science at Penn State University. She earned her B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on fluid mechanics and heat transfer from Persian Gulf University.
Danielle von Rechenberg-Paulsson, MA
Communications Manager with the CoBE ProgramRead Bio
Danielle von Rechenberg-Paulsson, MA
Communications Manager with the CoBE Program
Danielle von Rechenberg-Paulsson is the Communications Manager with the Healthy Buildings Program at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She is a purpose-driven communicator with diverse experience in international corporate and agency environments. In her previous role, she worked at Coca-Cola HBC Switzerland in marketing and communications before relocating to Boston, MA. Other positions on her career path include Burson Cohn & Wolfe in Switzerland and Sweden as well as Edelman in Germany.
Danielle is a strategic project leader with a strong passion to create shared value and make a difference to people and the planet. Within the Healthy Buildings program, her task is to create awareness for the team’s research and engage diverse stakeholders through inspiring stories and creative forms of communication.
Danielle earned her MA in Business at St. Gallen University in Switzerland. In addition, she holds a BA in Communications from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Currently, she is studying Corporate Sustainability and Innovation at Harvard Extension School.
Gen Pei’s research focuses on building ventilation, infectious disease transmission in buildings, indoor pollutant sensing technology, indoor chemistry, and energy-efficient buildings. Currently, he is working on developing a framework to quantify the effectiveness of ventilation systems and associated airflow patterns in reducing the transmission risk of infectious diseases in buildings, and studying the health and climate benefits of energy-saving measures in buildings. His doctoral research established a measurement and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling framework to understand pollutant transport, deposition, chemical reaction, and control in indoor environments. The goal of his research is to advance our knowledge of indoor pollutant dynamics and efficient control strategies to develop healthy, smart, and sustainable buildings.
Gen holds a Ph.D. and an M.Sc. in Architectural Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, and a B.Sc. in Building Environment and Equipment Engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University.
Sandra is a PhD candidate in the Population Health Sciences program at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her research interests center on indoor air quality and building design strategies that improve occupant health outcomes. Sandra’s past research experience includes investigating the influence of residential ventilation factors on the severity of asthma symptoms in children as part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Healthy Homes Program, as well as two projects under the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Microbiology of the Built Environment Program, which include exploring the effects of indoor envoronmental factors on the progression of microbial communities in a new hospital and examining the relationship between indoor moisture and fungal growth on building materials.
Before coming to Harvard, Sandra worked in the sustainable building design industry as an engineering consultant while also developing and delivering education through the University of Toronto, the Canada Green Building Council, and the International Well Building Institute. Sandra holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Applied Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto.
Mahala is the Project Manager for the Co-Benefits of the Built Environment (CoBE) study, which focuses on quantifying energy savings and health and climate co-benefits of improving sustainability in the built environment. She was an intern working as a research assistant for a year prior to joining the Healthy Buildings team full time, and she is now managing the project in tandem with conducting research. Currently, she is leading the development of the next version of the CoBE tool (CoBE v2).
Mahala graduated in 2021 from Brandeis University with a B.A. in International and Global Studies. Her interests center on energy and sustainability in the built environment in the context of economic growth, international security, and geopolitics. She plans to continue her research and studies in this field with a Master’s degree.
Brian is a Research Assistant for the Co-Benefits of the Build Environment (CoBE) study, which focuses on quantifying energy savings and health and climate co-benefits of improving sustainability in the built environment. He is currently working on development for the CoBE tool and the implementation of future features.
Brian graduated in 2020 from Northeastern University with a B.S. in Applied Physics. His interests focus on the impacts of climate change on the environment and health, and how we can work to mitigate these impacts through a public health lens.
Rachel is a Research Assistant supporting the work of the Healthy Buildings Program. Her interests center on the threat of infectious diseases in the modern world, and the role healthy buildings play in mitigating the risk of infection. She is also interested in exploring the intersection of gender identity, health, and the built environment, in order to advance health equity across the gender spectrum.
Rachel earned her MS in Human Physiology from Boston University’s Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. She also holds a BA in Biology from the University of Virginia.
Joseph is a junior at Brandeis University majoring in Environmental Studies and Philosophy. His interests include environmental policy, energy use, and applied ethics. At the Healthy Buildings Program, he is assisting with the design and launch of the Co-Benefits of the Built Environment (CoBE) tool. He is also working with the CoBE team to research building performance standards policies in major cities, such as New York City’s LL97. For a forthcoming report on women’s health in the built environment, Joseph is researching the impacts of extreme temperature and humidity on women. Finally, Joseph is contributing to the methodology design of a study from the COGfx team on the relationship between temperature and creative thinking.
Graduate Research Assistant with the CoBE ProjectRead Bio
Graduate Research Assistant with the CoBE Project
Victoria McCrary is a Ph.D. student at the Sustainable, Healthy, and Resilient Buildings Lab at Oregon State University, working with Dr. Parichehr Salimifard as her adviser. Victoria’s research interests are sustainable buildings, building electrification, and indoor air quality.
Before joining Oregon State University, Victoria earned her Bachelors of Science in Computer Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University.
Research Data Analyst with the CoBE ProgramRead Bio
Research Data Analyst with the CoBE Program
Erin is a research data analyst, working with Jonathan Buonocore at the Boston University School of Public Health. Her interests lie at the intersection of local and state climate mitigation strategies, health-informed decarbonization plans, and adaptation efforts that benefit both human and ecosystem health. Her current work involves researching the health impacts of the oil and gas industry, understanding methane contributions from natural gas distribution systems, and assisting CoBe to calculate emissions losses associated with building pipe main infrastructure. Erin has her Bachelors in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and her Master’s in Public Health.