Pandemic Safe Buildings
Powered by
“Evidence gathered this fall around the world and in the U.S. suggests that schools can open, even in conditions of wide community spread, and achieve low and even near zero transmission in the school building. This evidence, combined with the benefits to learners of in-person schooling and harms of remote schooling, suggests that the time has come to pursue in-person learning across most school contexts, provided that the school in question has established reasonable infection control protocols to safeguard student, educator (including paraprofessionals), and staff safety. The federal governments should include investments in school infection control in the next coronavirus relief package.
…The most important elements of infection control that matter are: universal masking (including while speaking) hand and bathroom hygiene achieving 4-6 air changes per hour of ‘clean’ air through any combination of ventilation and filtration (or outdoor classrooms) 3 ft social distancing for young learners at all levels of community spread 6ft social distancing for high schools when levels of community spread rise above 100/100,000 daily new cases; 3ft social distancing below that level robust quarantine policies and contact tracing practices and, where feasible, surveillance/screening testing, also discussed below under “testing.” “(boldface mine)
Lorien Pratts insight:
“The Center for Active Design (CfAD) was launched by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2012, to transform New York City’s groundbreaking Active Design program into an international movement. … CfAD is the preeminent global not-for-profit organization working at the intersection of health and the built environment. We transform design and development practice to support health and ensure equitable access to vibrant public and private spaces that support optimal quality of life. … Fitwel was originally created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and U.S. General Services Administration. The CDC remains the research and evaluation partner for Fitwel. The Center for Active Design, a global not-for-profit organization, was selected as the licensed operator of Fitwel, charged with expanding Fitwel to the global market.” To my understanding, the Viral Response module reviews and certifies buildings as complying with various requirements to establish policies to cover a number of topics, including, “Enhance Indoor Environment”, “Encourage Behavioral Change”, and “Build Occupant Trust”.  Importantly, it does not certify buildings themselves, rather like many similar certification organizations (ISO 9000, CMM), Fitwel focuses on policies, and leaves the details of those policies to the building developers, architects, managers, and other clients.
Brian Nosek, a University of Virginia psychology professor who has devoted his career to making scientific data more reliable and trustworthy, is frustrated. Like everyone else, he’s trying to understand the pandemic, particularly in his own community of Charlottesville, and in California, where he has family.
So he wonders: Where is the virus spreading? Where is it suppressed? Where are people social distancing as they should, and where are they not? Where will he and his family be safe?
In this pandemic, we’re swimming in statistics, trends, models, projections, infection rates, death tolls. Nosek has professional expertise in interpreting data, but even he is struggling to make sense of the numbers.
“What’s crazy is, we’re three months in, and we’re still not able to calibrate our risk management. It’s a mess,” said Nosek, who runs the Center for Open Science, which advocates for transparency in research. “Tell me what to do! Please!”
You have a new superpower. Your choices have ripple effects throughout the world, and you have no idea what those impacts will be. Part of the future of DI is to understand that there are systematic patterns to those impacts.  
Dr. Pratt demos an immersive visualization tool that lets us see these patterns and interactions, make changes, and see immediately how these changes lead to different outcomes.  
I think there are a lot of people who feel overwhelmed by information. The executives I talk with say this in particular, “I don’t want to talk with these quants; I can’t … understand a word that they say.” If they have interfaces like this [visualization tool], they will engage with the evidence, the data, and the AI …I think that the biggest initial impact will be in our sense of agency, that we will balance out the inequity that comes when technologists dominate…and send us things and make us click things and make us do things, and we start to use this for our own needs …….[greater] equality…We democratized the computer, didn’t we? Let’s democratize AI [other] complex [technologies, too]. 
Earlier this year, two diners at a South Korean restaurant were infected with novel coronavirus in a matter of minutes from a third patron who sat at least 15 feet away from them. The third patron was asymptomatic at the time. After dissecting that scene from June, South Korean researchers released a study last month in the Journal of Korean Medical Science that suggests the virus, under certain airflow conditions, travels farther than six feet and can infect others in as little as five minutes. …The study confirms, says Milton [Donald Milton, professor of environmental health at the University of Maryland School of Public Health], that infected people “can shed virus into the air, and it can travel long distances, and the more air movement you got, the more you might have” the kind of scenario laid out in the South Korean restaurant study.With more the 20 years of experience in his field, Milton doesn’t think it’ll be another 100 years before the United States experiences a pandemic similar to the one we’re living through now. As such, he would like to see governments and entrepreneurs invest in technology to make buildings and public spaces safer in the future.
Dr. Lorien Pratt is a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence and is credited for inventing transfer learning. Lorien is pushing the boundaries of technology as one of the creators and evangelists for Decision Intelligence, which is the next phase of Artificial Intelligence.
Dr. Lorien Pratt is a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence and is credited for inventing transfer learning. Lorien is pushing the boundaries of technology as one of the creators and evangelists for Decision Intelligence, which is the next phase of Artificial Intelligence. In this episode, Lorien details how Decision Intelligence is merging human intelligence and artificial intelligence to create actions that lead to better outcomes.   If you find this episode valuable, would you please help us by providing a review at