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Hal Levin (Portland OR, 1941-Laveno, Italy, 2023) was a Research Architect with Building Ecology Research Group in Santa Cruz, California. He conducted research and consulted on the impacts of buildings on occupants’ health and comfort as well as on the larger environment. Since the 1970s his work focused on the integration of knowledge about indoor and outdoor air pollution and other risk factors in the design, construction, and operation of residential, educational, and commercial buildings and communities. He contributed to the design of many award-winning buildings including the design of ventilation, building materials’ selection, energy conservation, and total environmental quality; he also contributed to the scientific and professional advancements in the fields of life-cycle analysis and risk assessment as indicators of the sustainability of building designs and practices.

Hal Levin’s major creative and innovative contribution is the concept of Building Ecology, an expression he invented in the late 1970s and introduced in an article with this title published in 1981 in Progressive Architecture.  Levin coined this expression  to refer to a new interdisciplinary theoretical and practical approach that could bring together the natural and the built environment, where buildings do not negatively impact neither on the external environment nor on the occupants.

The very meaning of building ecology is also the history of how a dialogue was begun among numerous disciplines, attempting, if not to build a single language, at least to create forms of collaboration and discussion that could raise a new awareness about how and when buildings and environmental and human health meet.

Levin started the website in 2001, after almost 20 years of creating two newsletters on paper, IAQ Update e Indoor Air Bulletin. A first version of the website was launched in 2004, and in 2006 the complete and fully functioning site was released. The new online newsletter was regularly maintained and updated by Hal Levin and his collaborators until the end of 2019. In 2022 its original full version, no longer updated, ceased to be available. was conceived as a high-quality source on the web for reliable, up-to-date information for all concerned about Indoor Air Quality and Sustainable Buildings. The website was intended to be an online newsletter for a very wide audience, including several scientific communities and experts, dealing with the subjects of indoor air quality, healthy and sustainable buildings, ecology of buildings. It also aimed to reach non-experts, such as owner-builders, and the general public interested in knowledge related to buildings and health.

The purpose of the website was described by its Author as follows:

“For useful and reliable feature articles, for the latest news and events listings. Check out our links to the best information on Indoor Air Quality and Sustainable Buildings on the web. Our “events” page links you to IAQ and to Sustainability meetings and conferences all over the world. We invite your suggestions and comments on our resources related to indoor environmental quality, architecture, healthy buildings, and the built environments impacts on the sustainability of human settlements.

There are many pitfalls in these new and rapidly changing fields. Simple answers can often be as dangerous as they are easy. We will tackle the tough problems and bring you the most comprehensive and useful information available. We will translate the latest scientific information and professional practices into the most accurate and useful information for serious building design professionals, consultants, building owners, manufacturers, policymakers, and anyone else who won’t take oversimplified, easy answers to the tough questions”.

This new website,, has a different purpose and rationale. It is primarily an archive of Hal Levin’s work and publications that can be relevant to scholars, experts, and lay people interested in his thought or in part of the history of several interdisciplinary fields – from indoor air quality to sustainable buildings, from the microbiome of the built environment to public health issues, from the owner-builders’ needs to the multifaceted concept of building ecology.

The website is organized into sections, each dealing with an aspect of Hal Levin’s life and work.

Section “Life” contains several documents and memories related to Hal Levin’s life, his curriculum vitae, and how he has been celebrated by friends and colleagues after his death.

Section “Building Ecology” is devoted to a collection of articles, hand-written minutes, and a draft book on the concept of Building Ecology – its complexities and the increasingly unfolding implications – that Levin invented in 1980, published in “Progressive Architecture” in 1981, and kept refining throughout his life.

In Section “Newsletters” all the issues of both newsletters, IAQ Update (1988-1990) and Indoor Air Bulletin (1991-1996), are available for the first time in digital format and can be downloaded. 

Section “Publications” offers the complete list of Levin’s published articles – and in most cases their text for download – and unpublished research performed at UC Berkeley between 1984 and 1987. Also, the section contains several presentations given at national and international meetings and academic courses, and a few radio and written interviews Hal Levin gave between the 1980s and 2010s.

Section “Architecture” contains some of Hal Levin’s work as an architect, with the images and drawings of two houses – one designed, the other designed and built by Levin.