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      Journal of Green Building

      College Publishing

      COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, coronavirus, epidemics, pandemics, architecture, urbanism, health, ecology

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          In the context of the COVID-19, this article reveals the potential of architecture and urbanism in the prevention and control of epidemics and in playing an active role in human health. The historical approach shows that the same space-controlled measures against pandemics were used for centuries to combat leper or plague: quarantine, isolation and confinement. The fight against tuberculosis led, from the 1830s, to the hygiene movement which facilitated current principles for a healthy architecture regarding sunlight and ventilation. In the 1920s, hygienic concepts constituted the foundation for modernist architecture and urbanism. With the advent of antibiotics, in the 1940s, medicine was emancipated from architecture. In the 1970s, the criticism of the social modernist shortcoming led to the New Urbanism or Urban Village movements and environmental issues to Green Architecture and Urbanism.

          The paper investigates how the present pandemic confirms the last decades warnings and the previous concerns about the correspondence between population density and mortality rates. The article examines the linkages between scale in the built environment, epidemiology and proxemics. The goal is to determine the place of architecture and urbanism in social resilience management during pandemics.

          Solutions for health engaged architecture and urbanism are indicated at different scales: object scale—hygiene; people scale—distancing and isolation; interior spaces—air control by ventilation, filtering and humidifying; residential—intermediate housing, public spaces between buildings—the key for social interactions; working—telecommuting, size and dispersion; shopping—proximity and downscaling; transportation—walking, bicycling, shared mobility and robo-taxies; and higher scale-mixed use neighborhoods.

          Architectural certifications such as BREAM and LEED may need to implement similar guidelines for public health. Healthy building movements like Fitwel and WELL Building Standard have already taken steps to foster healthy urbanism, and LEED for Neighborhood Development addresses health related issues. In the context of the COVID-19 and the concern of future pandemics, research in these areas will need to be expanded.

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          Most cited references 68

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          Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1

          To the Editor: A novel human coronavirus that is now named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (formerly called HCoV-19) emerged in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 and is now causing a pandemic. 1 We analyzed the aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 and compared it with SARS-CoV-1, the most closely related human coronavirus. 2 We evaluated the stability of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1 in aerosols and on various surfaces and estimated their decay rates using a Bayesian regression model (see the Methods section in the Supplementary Appendix, available with the full text of this letter at SARS-CoV-2 nCoV-WA1-2020 (MN985325.1) and SARS-CoV-1 Tor2 (AY274119.3) were the strains used. Aerosols (<5 μm) containing SARS-CoV-2 (105.25 50% tissue-culture infectious dose [TCID50] per milliliter) or SARS-CoV-1 (106.75-7.00 TCID50 per milliliter) were generated with the use of a three-jet Collison nebulizer and fed into a Goldberg drum to create an aerosolized environment. The inoculum resulted in cycle-threshold values between 20 and 22, similar to those observed in samples obtained from the upper and lower respiratory tract in humans. Our data consisted of 10 experimental conditions involving two viruses (SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1) in five environmental conditions (aerosols, plastic, stainless steel, copper, and cardboard). All experimental measurements are reported as means across three replicates. SARS-CoV-2 remained viable in aerosols throughout the duration of our experiment (3 hours), with a reduction in infectious titer from 103.5 to 102.7 TCID50 per liter of air. This reduction was similar to that observed with SARS-CoV-1, from 104.3 to 103.5 TCID50 per milliliter (Figure 1A). SARS-CoV-2 was more stable on plastic and stainless steel than on copper and cardboard, and viable virus was detected up to 72 hours after application to these surfaces (Figure 1A), although the virus titer was greatly reduced (from 103.7 to 100.6 TCID50 per milliliter of medium after 72 hours on plastic and from 103.7 to 100.6 TCID50 per milliliter after 48 hours on stainless steel). The stability kinetics of SARS-CoV-1 were similar (from 103.4 to 100.7 TCID50 per milliliter after 72 hours on plastic and from 103.6 to 100.6 TCID50 per milliliter after 48 hours on stainless steel). On copper, no viable SARS-CoV-2 was measured after 4 hours and no viable SARS-CoV-1 was measured after 8 hours. On cardboard, no viable SARS-CoV-2 was measured after 24 hours and no viable SARS-CoV-1 was measured after 8 hours (Figure 1A). Both viruses had an exponential decay in virus titer across all experimental conditions, as indicated by a linear decrease in the log10TCID50 per liter of air or milliliter of medium over time (Figure 1B). The half-lives of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1 were similar in aerosols, with median estimates of approximately 1.1 to 1.2 hours and 95% credible intervals of 0.64 to 2.64 for SARS-CoV-2 and 0.78 to 2.43 for SARS-CoV-1 (Figure 1C, and Table S1 in the Supplementary Appendix). The half-lives of the two viruses were also similar on copper. On cardboard, the half-life of SARS-CoV-2 was longer than that of SARS-CoV-1. The longest viability of both viruses was on stainless steel and plastic; the estimated median half-life of SARS-CoV-2 was approximately 5.6 hours on stainless steel and 6.8 hours on plastic (Figure 1C). Estimated differences in the half-lives of the two viruses were small except for those on cardboard (Figure 1C). Individual replicate data were noticeably “noisier” (i.e., there was more variation in the experiment, resulting in a larger standard error) for cardboard than for other surfaces (Fig. S1 through S5), so we advise caution in interpreting this result. We found that the stability of SARS-CoV-2 was similar to that of SARS-CoV-1 under the experimental circumstances tested. This indicates that differences in the epidemiologic characteristics of these viruses probably arise from other factors, including high viral loads in the upper respiratory tract and the potential for persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 to shed and transmit the virus while asymptomatic. 3,4 Our results indicate that aerosol and fomite transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is plausible, since the virus can remain viable and infectious in aerosols for hours and on surfaces up to days (depending on the inoculum shed). These findings echo those with SARS-CoV-1, in which these forms of transmission were associated with nosocomial spread and super-spreading events, 5 and they provide information for pandemic mitigation efforts.
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            Bringing context back into epidemiology: variables and fallacies in multilevel analysis.

             A Diez-Roux (1998)
            A large portion of current epidemiologic research is based on methodologic individualism: the notion that the distribution of health and disease in populations can be explained exclusively in terms of the characteristics of individuals. The present paper discusses the need to include group- or macro-level variables in epidemiologic studies, thus incorporating multiple levels of determination in the study of health outcomes. These types of analyses, which have been called contextual or multi-level analyses, challenge epidemiologists to develop theoretical models of disease causation that extend across levels and explain how group-level and individual-level variables interact in shaping health and disease. They also raise a series of methodological issues, including the need to select the appropriate contextual unit and contextual variables, to correctly specify the individual-level model, and, in some cases, to account for residual correlation between individuals within contexts. Despite its complexities, multilevel analysis holds potential for reemphasizing the role of macro-level variables in shaping health and disease in populations.
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              The good, the bad, and the unknown about telecommuting: meta-analysis of psychological mediators and individual consequences.

              What are the positive and negative consequences of telecommuting? How do these consequences come about? When are these consequences more or less potent? The authors answer these questions through construction of a theoretical framework and meta-analysis of 46 studies in natural settings involving 12,883 employees. Telecommuting had small but mainly beneficial effects on proximal outcomes, such as perceived autonomy and (lower) work-family conflict. Importantly, telecommuting had no generally detrimental effects on the quality of workplace relationships. Telecommuting also had beneficial effects on more distal outcomes, such as job satisfaction, performance, turnover intent, and role stress. These beneficial consequences appeared to be at least partially mediated by perceived autonomy. Also, high-intensity telecommuting (more than 2.5 days a week) accentuated telecommuting's beneficial effects on work-family conflict but harmed relationships with coworkers. Results provide building blocks for a more complete theoretical and practical treatment of telecommuting. (c) 2007 APA

                Author and article information

                Journal of Green Building
                College Publishing
                Spring 2020
                14 July 2020
                : 15
                : 2
                : 185-212
                Author notes

                1. Assoc. Prof. PhD. Habil. Arch.,“Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism, Bucharest, Romania. email: bogdan.fezi@


                Volumes 1-10 of JOGB are open access and do not require permission for use, though proper citation should be given. To view the licenses, visit

                Page count
                Pages: 28


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