1st Edition

Inside OUT Human Health and the Air-Conditioning Era

Edited By Elizabeth McCormick Copyright 2024
    146 Pages 27 Color & 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    146 Pages 27 Color & 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    146 Pages 27 Color & 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Inside OUT: Human Health and the Air-Conditioning Era focuses on the enclosed environment of fully conditioned buildings, revealing a unique ecosystem with broad implications for human life and a rapidly expanding global footprint. Emphasizing the interconnections between buildings and human health, equity, and environmental sustainability, it presents an interdisciplinary, holistic analysis of the social, behavioral, and technological issues of indoor space.

    Over the 20th century, advances in mechanical conditioning technologies led to the dispersion and international dominance of the sealed building envelope, which casually and progressively disconnected buildings and their occupants from local climatic, biological, and cultural environments. At the same time, humans were increasingly pushed indoors by less tangible, socially constructed forces that associated climate control with cleanliness, health, social status, and modernization.

    In this volume, a multi-disciplinary group of experts on the indoor microbiome from the fields of biology, anthropology, and architecture come together to thoughtfully reflect on the history, properties, and meaning of indoor air quality in buildings, and to discuss the future of human habitation – with a dominant focus on human health in a post-pandemic world. Taking a human-first approach to health and sustainability, the authors weave together a compelling analysis of social and technological drivers of conditioned space with arguments for future interventions in the built environment.

    Amid growing awareness of air quality and climate concerns, Inside OUT provides a timely discussion of the relationship between building design and human health, of relevance to professional and academic readers from across the spectrum of the building industry, as well as fields including public health and environmental studies.


    1. Air Quality and Human Health
    Elizabeth L. McCormick
    2. The Socially Constructed Microbiome
    Elizabeth L. McCormick
    3. The Microscopic World of Building Science
    Sarah Haines
    4. The Building/Occupant Organism
    Marcel Harmon
    5. Designing with Metrics for Indoor Air Quality, Comfort, and Health.
    Z Smith
    6. Respiratory Equity
    Ulysses Sean Vance
    7. Transcript of Panel Discussion: Inside/Out Symposium
    8. Reconciling Inside and Out
    Elizabeth L. McCormick


    Elizabeth L. McCormick is an Assistant Professor of Architecture and Building Technology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte School of Architecture, as well as a PhD candidate at North Carolina State University’s College of Design. She is a licensed architect, educator, and researcher whose work explores healthy, climatically sensitive, and contextually appropriate building design strategies that connect occupants to the outdoors while also reducing the dependence on mechanical conditioning technologies. McCormick is a LEED and WELL-Accredited Professional, as well as a Certified Passive House Consultant with over 10 years of experience as a practicing architect. She has worked on a variety of project scales from single-family passive houses to LEED-certified commercial office buildings and campuses.

    McCormick was the recipient of the 2021 AIAS/ACSA New Faculty Teaching Award and is an active member of numerous professional and academic organizations, including the American Institute of Architects (AIA), National Passive House Alliance (PHAUS), and she is a board member for the Building Technology Educators Society (BTES). This book proposal is inspired by the Inside l OUT Symposium that McCormick organized and moderated in Charlotte, North Carolina in March 2022.

    "In this extraordinary book, McCormick and collaborators help us to understand the new environment we have created, indoors, from the perspectives of history and architecture. If you would like to understand the spaces in which you spend nearly all of your waking and sleeping hours, how they affect you and how they came to be the way they are, read Inside OUT." 

    -     Rob Dunn, biologist, author of A Natural History of the Future