• Events
  • Can Buildings Be The Filters For The Air We Breathe?

Can Buildings Be The Filters For The Air We Breathe?

Start Date
September 21st, 2016 16:00
End Date
September 21st, 2016 19:00
Urbn Hotel, Shanghai

With air pollution increasing at alarming rates, research is consistently being done to create innovative ways to lessen this environmental impact and improve the quality of the air we breathe. A recent idea that many architects and engineers have been exploring is designing buildings in a way that not only produces less pollution, but can also help improve the quality of the air around us.

Gensler IAQ Research

In 2013, the IARC classified all air pollution as cancer causing, which is of high concern for those living in Asia, as the World Health Organization announced that the most polluted cities in the world are all located in Asia and the Middle East. Pollution is not an easy problem to solve since it has challenges beyond just air quality, including: increased energy consumption to filter and circulate indoor air, reduced natural day lighting due to layers of smog, and minimized overall well-being relating to productivity.

Gensler, a leading design firm globally, spent three years researching and conducting several experiments related to smog and altitude, indoor pollution and living walls, and outdoor green spaces. The study aims to come up with ideas and methods for how architecture and engineering can improve the way we design buildings to address air quality both indoors and outdoors. Fortunately, their results were very insightful. We believe that buildings themselves can become the filters; not just for the users, but also for the whole population.

Pollution affects the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and every part of our life. This presentation has been prolonged until Gensler’s research was complete to allow them to not only present the problem, but also solutions and ideas for the future.

Shanghai IAQA Launch

Over the past few years, the Chinese market for clean air has exploded. But you may have also seen a lot of unsophisticated clients, leading to confusion that is made worse by the emergence of solution providers lacking adequate knowledge or experience. China currently lacks standards around indoor air quality service and products.  This has made it difficult for true professionals to be recognised for quality. Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA), established in 1995, is dedicated to bringing practitioners together to prevent and solve indoor environmental problems for the benefits of consumers and the public.

With the endorsement of the global board, PureLiving China is brining IAQA to Shanghai. This is going to start a new era where IAQ standard and regulations in China are going to catch up on the international level, which opens the doors for more competitive and qualified suppliers to provide more creative solutions and to compete on a better regulated market.

Other topics to be discussed during this forum are:

  • What are the most common mistakes made when trying to create an indoor air quality system?
  • Can designers and architects "design" for air quality?
  • How is air quality monitoring changing the way buildings perform and talk to us?
  • How do I choose a good monitor and how can I use the data?
  • How are companies using air quality as a stuff retention or branding strategy?

Event Itinerary

  • 16:00-17:00 Registrations & Networking
  • 17:00-17:25 Event Introduction + Shanghai IAQA Launch by Louie Cheng, President, PureLiving China (PLC)
  • 17:25-17:30 Introduction by Stephanie Sears, Executive Director, Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA)
  • 17:30-18:30 Gensler IAQ Research Presentation by Kyle Mertensmeyer, Associate, Gensler (Including Q&A + Inputs by Key Research Partners: Green Fortune, PLC, & GIGA)
  • 18:30-18:45 Break / Refreshments
  • 18:45-19:30 Saving Money & Health Through IAQ Innovation (Panel Discussion with End Users, Designers & AQ Experts Moderated by Raefer Wallis)
  • 19:30-20:00 Drinks & Networking / Event Ends

Speakers & Panelists

Kyle Mertensmeyer, LEED AP, Associate AIA, Gensler 
Kyle is the Founder and Research Director for Gensler’s “Design for Polluted and Toxic Environments”. His research seeks to use design as a way to problem solve issues related to indoor and outdoor air quality. He has received awards for his work as a designer from AIA, IIDA, US Green Building Council, ID Best of the Year Award, FX International Interior Design Award, Blue Print Design Award, Surface Design Award, and A2asia Award. Additionally, Kyle is a Lecturer at Tongji University’s Design Innovation School & FabO Maker Space, and recently joined forces with the Climate Reality Project, led by former US Vice President Al Gore as a “Global Climate Leader” and Mentor. 

Kyle will present us the results from three years of research that he and his team conducted to discover how to address air quality both indoors and outdoors through the way we design buildings. Their studies included the efficiency of Living Walls, the effectivity of particulates at various altitudes, and conceptualization of a prototype lung to passively clean air. 

Raefer Wallis, Founder & CEO, GIGA
Based in Shanghai, Raefer works to bridge the gap between IT, material science, and the built environment to improve the livability of indoor spaces. The recipient of numerous awards for design and design sustainability, he also lectures extensively both in China and internationally.

Louie Cheng, President, PureLiving China
With over 20 years of scientific consulting experience as a chemical warfare engineer with the US Army, Louie founded PureLiving China in 2010. Prior to that, he was a managing consultant for IBM, and was formerly the Asia Strategy Director for Thomson Reuters' Scientific Division. 

Stephanie Sears, Executive Director, Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA)
Stephanie Sears has served as the executive director for the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) since August 2015. As the Association’s Executive Director, Sears serves as the primary liaison to IAQA’s Board of Directors, coordinating projects between IAQA’s 2,500 volunteers and eight staff. She supports work in the areas of chapter relations, conventions and meetings, education, finance, government affairs and publications. She also supports the ongoing development of IAQA standards.



  • Entry by invitation only. 
  • Event would have simultaneous translation in EN & CN.
  • Limited number of paid spaces available for regular guests. Please register & pay at this link: https://yoopay.cn/event/sept-08-16 or scan the QR code below: 

    server error: