9Foundations

Welcome to the Healthy Buildings Movement.

COVID Alert

Covid-19 Support Services

9F is supporting executives and teams across major sectors of the economy - finance, technology, media, biotech, arts, sports respond to Covid-19.

Our support services and responses include:

  • Healthy building strategies
  • Return to office strategies
  • Worker health and safety
  • SOPs for building operations and enhanced disinfection
  • Real-time indoor environmental quality monitoring
  • Building re-commissioning
  • Vetting new technology and capital improvements
  • Industrial hygiene services
  • Strategic advising
  • Training
  • Risk communication

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9 foundations of a healthy building

The 9 Foundations
of a Healthy Building

The 9 Foundations of a Healthy Building is a standardized, holistic approach to understanding how buildings impact the people inside them, created by a multidisciplinary team of experts from the Healthy Buildings Program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Each foundation is based on the synthesis of scientific evidence, and applies universally to all indoor spaces – offices, homes, schools, airplanes.

9 Foundations Inc. provides expert consulting services that translate this research into practice in your building.

Building Science

Building Science

Health Science

Health Science

Business Science

Business Science

We created the science of healthier buildings. Now we’re applying it for healthier people.

In recent years, so much of the focus on buildings has been around green environments. And while the green building movement has led to incredible improvements in modern built environments, the push for continued progress calls us to collectively ask “what’s next?” 9 Foundations is answering that question by shifting the conversation to health and placing the focus on the greatest area of opportunity to drive building benefits: the people inside.

At 9 Foundations, we’re forcing the collision between building science, health science and business science to create the first comprehensive approach to measuring, monitoring and optimizing indoor environmental health. Together with clients, we’re working to create indoor environments that improve human health and cognitive function every day.

As the world looks for ways to enhance the health and well-being of a growing population, everyone is in the healthcare business. At 9 Foundations, we’re bringing that mindset to the built environment and evolving the green building movement to become something so much bigger.

Roots in Science

Roots in Science

Our approach uses the framework of “The 9 Foundations of a Healthy Building” developed by an expert multidisciplinary team from the Healthy Buildings Program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Optimizing for Health

Optimizing for Health

We design and deliver an approach in which each building is measured, monitored, optimized and rated with a focus on ensuring the healthiest possible building environments for the people who live and work inside.

Health as a KPI

Health as a KPI

Using metrics created by health scientists, we work with executives to customize a strategic approach based on unique Health Performance Indicators, covering everything from ventilation and air quality to lighting and views. This approach recognizes health as the most important KPI.

Human Benefits

Human Benefits

By curating scientific evidence, we demonstrate the benefits of investing in the people inside a building – benefits that include reduction in absenteeism, lower disease transmission, better cognitive function, higher productivity and more.

Our Clients

We're advancing the business of healthy buildings.

From owners and developers to employees and tenants, an investment in healthier buildings can benefit everyone. See how 9 Foundations has worked with key leadership and executives at some of the largest companies in the world to create and implement strategies to optimize building health — and the health and productivity of the people inside.
Confidential Pharmaceutical Client

Confidential Pharmaceutical Client

Strategic advising on healthy building strategies

Confidential Banking Client

Confidential Banking Client

Expert consulting on Covid-19 response and executive leadership on the importance of healthy buildings.

Confidential Technology Client

Confidential Technology Client

Strategic advising on healthy building strategies

Confidential Real Estate Client

Confidential Real Estate Client

Development of Healthy building strategies for new construction and protocols for measuring and tracking Health Performance Indicators. Supporting marketing efforts on conveying the value of healthy buildings.

Our News
  • Washington Post We cannot keep ignoring the possibility of airborne transmission. Here’s how to address it.

    The Washington Post: We Cannot Keep Ignoring the Possibility of Airborne Transmission. Here’s How to Address It.

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  • Harvard Business Review: What Makes an Office Building Healthy

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  • Washington Post Airplanes don’t make you sick. Really.

    The Washington Post: Airplanes Don’t Make You Sick. Really.

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Our Leadership

Explore how we're applying science to create customized healthy building solutions for leading companies in commercial real estate, finance and technology.

You're working with the people who helped create it. Our leadership team has spent years pioneering research and driving conversations around the connection between human health and built environments.

Dr. Joseph G. Allen Portrait

Dr. Joseph G. Allen

DSc, MPH, CIH

Dr. Joseph G. Allen is an assistant professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He began his career conducting forensic health investigations of sick buildings in several hundred buildings across a diverse range of industries, including healthcare, biotechnology, education, commercial office real estate and manufacturing. At Harvard, Dr. Allen directs the Healthy Buildings Program at Harvard, where he created “The 9 Foundations of a Healthy Building,” a program to optimize indoor environments for health. With 9 Foundations, Inc., Dr. Allen is leading the effort to turn the research into implementable solutions for select clients.

Dr. Allen is an internationally renowned expert on the topic of Healthy Buildings, and his work has been featured widely in the popular press, including The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, National Geographic, Time, NPR, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and Fortune. Dr. Allen’s research is widely published in academic journals, and he is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. He earned his Doctor of Science (DSc) and Master of Public Health (MPH) degrees from the Boston University School of Public Health, and a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Biology from Boston College.

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Linnea Champ Portrait

Linnea Champ

As a health scientist for 9 Foundations Inc., Linnea conducts research and analysis on all aspects of healthy buildings. She earned her MPH in Environmental Health in Sustainability, Health and the Global Environment from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a Bachelors of Arts (BA) in biological chemistry from Grinnell College. Prior to joining 9 Foundations Inc., Linnea worked as a clinical research coordinator for Children's National Medical Center in Washington D.C., where she managed a home environmental intervention program that led to improved pediatric asthma outcomes.

Dr. James J. McDevitt Portrait

Dr. James J. McDevitt

Dr. James J. McDevitt received his Masters Degree in Industrial Hygiene and PhD in Environmental Health Sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore Maryland, followed by a 3-year post-doctoral fellowship in Environmental Health Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Industrial Hygiene. He has over 30 years of combined experience practicing industrial hygiene in the USAF, performing bio-aerosol research, and private consulting. He has had faculty appointments at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and University of Maryland. He is the coauthor of a book chapter, patent holder, and author/coauthor of 31 published, peer-reviewed journal articles.

Marissa Van Ry Portrait

Marissa Van Ry

MPH

Marissa Van Ry, MPH is a Health Scientist at 9 Foundations. Before joining the 9F team, Marissa was a researcher with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the Healthy Buildings Program. She has worked as a specialist in regulatory public health, occupational health and safety compliance, and as a project manager in Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S). Her expertise includes public health risk assessment and developing risk reduction strategies for outbreak prevention and control. Marissa also serves on the Secretariat for the Task Force on Safe Work, Safe School, and Safe Travel within The Lancet Covid-19 Commission. Marissa has a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Environmental and Occupational Health from the University of Washington. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Sciences from Washington State University with an emphasis on forestry and sustainability.

Leonard Zwack Portrait

Leonard Zwack

ScD

Dr. Leonard Zwack is an environmental and occupational health expert that has 20 years of experience in the consulting, academic, and governmental realms. He most recently served as a Lead Industrial Hygienist in the NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation Program. He earned both a Master of Science in Industrial Hygiene and a Doctorate in Exposure Assessment from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Zwack has conducted research on public health and industrial hygiene-related topics and has led numerous assessments of complex and unusual occupational exposures. In addition, he has led many indoor environmental quality projects to assess building related exposure and disease. During his time at NIOSH, Dr. Zwack also held leadership roles on CDC's nationwide COVID-19 response team and helped draft COVID-19 related guidance documents and factsheets.

Our Advisors

Juliette Kayyem Portrait

Juliette Kayyem

Professor Juliette Kayyem has spent the last two decades in both state and federal government managing complex policy initiatives and organizing government responses to major crises. Juliette is the Robert and Renee Belfer Senior Lecturer at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where she is faculty chair of the Homeland Security and Security and Global Health Projects. Previously, she served as President Obama's Assistant Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security and before that as MA Governor Deval Patrick's Homeland Security Advisor.

A CNN national security analyst, Pulitzer Prize finalist, and contributor for The Atlantic and WGBH, Juliette also advises governors, mayors, and corporations on crisis management, especially during COVID-19 response. With over nearly 200,000 Twitter followers, she was recently described as providing a “basic truth of COVID: reality bites, but it is all we got.” Juliette is the author or editor of six books, including the best-selling book Security Mom; her next book “The Devil Never Sleeps: How to Prepare When Disasters Are No Longer Random and Rare” will be published in 2022 by Public Affairs. Juliette lives in Cambridge, MA, with her husband, Judge David Barron of the First Circuit Court of Appeals and has three children.

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Maureen Ehrenberg Portrait

Maureen Ehrenberg

FRICS, CRE, LAI

Maureen Ehrenberg, FRICS, CRE, LAI, is CEO of Blue Skrye, Innovation in the Built Environment. An internationally recognized expert on real estate business transformation, strategic redesign for the future of work and facility management, Maureen serves as an advisor and board member to global organizations, investors, and real estate technology providers. With over 30 years of experience, she has deep expertise in providing real estate advice and services to companies globally. Before founding Blue Skrye, Maureen was Global Head of Real Estate Operations and Strategic Services for WeWork. She has held global executive roles with JLL, CBRE, and Grubb & Ellis Company.

Maureen serves on the Americas Board of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS); and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Overseas Building Operations, Industry Advisory Group (IAG). She is a management trustee for the International Union of Operating Engineers, a trustee of Roosevelt University, and a member of the Real Estate Advisory board for the New York State Teachers Retirement System (NYSTRS). She has also served on the Global Board of CoreNet Global, IFMA (International Facility Management Association), and OCSRE (Open Standards Consortium for Real Estate). A frequent speaker, Maureen has been recognized as an industry thought leader with an Innovator of the Year Award from CoreNet Global, the Chair’s Citation Award from IFMA, The Julie Devine Digital Impact and Lifetime Achievement Awards for Vision in technology from RealComm and has received several awards and recognition for leadership and service in the real estate industry. Maureen attended The Business School at City, University of London, where she earned a BSc Joint Honours in Economics & Accounting.

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