Energy Studies and Buildings Laboratory and Biology and the Built Environment are thrilled to announce that Mark Fretz has joined the team as the new Associate Director of Outreach, based in Portland at the White Stag Block location. Mark brings a unique combination of experience in architecture and public health service, and will help further our goal of promoting health in the built environment through research, outreach, and knowledge exchange.
Mark has a history of successful collaboration with the lab — several years ago he was a research assistant with ESBL. He helped to develop the idea and grant for our ongoing project on the effect of weatherization on indoor air quality, human health, and the indoor microbiome. He was also involved developing field materials and pilot studies for our study on the effect of daylight on dust communities, currently in review.
In addition to developing future research and teaching, Mark will primarily be developing the Institute for Health & the Built Environment consortium that ESBL and BioBE initiated in May 2017 with their inaugural meeting. The Consortium aims to dramatically reduce energy consumption and maximize human health by conducting research that transforms the design, construction and operation of built environments. Mark will help foster collaboration between innovative industry professionals and academic researchers in the disciplines of architecture, biology, chemistry, engineering, and urban design, provide sharp focus to our research agenda, and accelerate the impact of our scientific discoveries.
We asked Mark what most inspires him about his new position. Mark responded,
“We are at a pivotal time in architecture where we are beginning to understand the implications of the built environment on health and resource use. The solutions to reconcile this coexistence of health and resource use require unconventional thinking and cross-disciplinary collaborations. I am most excited about the opportunity to work together with industry and academia to drive transformative research that produces elegant design solutions capitalizing on synergies between human health and energy efficiency.”