Research Conducted by Associate Professor, Kevin Grosskopf

Retooling Recession Displaced Workers for Green Jobs

As part of a $1.3M grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, The Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction has completed development of a workforce transition program to ‘retool’ recession displaced workers for career opportunities in new and emerging green industries.

Innovations Moving People to Achieve Certified Training (IMPACT)

As part of a $725K grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, The Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction has begun the development of innovative skills assessment and training strategies for U.S. Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) eligible workers who have lost their jobs as a result of foreign trade.

The Effects of Airflow and Door Position on Aerosol Dispersion within a General Patient and Airborne infectious Isolation Room

An actual hospital was used to map the spatial dispersion of synthetic respiratory aerosols with respect to particle size, airflow, door position and personnel movement within a general patient room, an airborne infectious isolation room (AIIR) and corridor.

Transport of Respiratory Aerosols in Patient Corridors Subject to Directional and Non-Directional Airflow

Airflow in patient corridors was found to be a contributing factor in several cases of nosocomial transmission of airborne disease. As a result, an actual hospital was used to observe the aerodynamic behavior of synthetic respiratory aerosols in two corridors of a general patient ward placed under neutral (non-directional) and negative (directional) airflow.

Secondary Exposure Risks to Patients in Airborne Isolation

Improvements in ventilation techniques and isolation procedures have been widely credited with the decline in nosocomial transmission of tuberculosis and other airborne diseases beginning in 1993. By comparison, little effort has been made to study the risk of isolation patients acquiring secondary infections from contaminated air migrating into negatively pressurized isolation rooms from adjacent spaces. As a result, an actual hospital was used to observe the transport of synthetic aerosol from a nursing station and general patient room to a nearby airborne infectious isolation room (AIIR).

The Ventilation Paradox: Balancing Airborne Infection Control and Energy Use in Hospitals

Hospitals are among the most energy intensive buildings in the U.S., averaging between 860-1,450kWh/m2/year, or, approximately 3-times the energy use of comparable office buildings. Nearly one-third of hospital energy consumption is used to maintain climate control and indoor air quality (IAQ) through the use of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. In spite of this, hospital acquired infections (HAIs) in the U.S. claim more than 90,000 lives and cost more than $US 20 billion each year.