What is Building Biology?

Building Biology is the holistic study of the interrelationships between humans and their man-made environment.  It is the science of creating healthy, life enhancing buildings.

RHS Rose _MG_0246
RHS Rosemoor, Devon, UK. Photo credit: Joakim Borén

Buildings today often contain inherent chemical, physiological and biological risks as a result of materials and processes employed by the construction industry in a drive to minimise costs and build times.  The UK currently falls behind European and International standards of best practice concerning the use of many materials.

Crippets Landscape 07
Crippets, Bucks Mills, North Devon, UK. Photo credit: Clive Boursnell

On average we spend about 90% of our time indoors and 30% in bedrooms. With these exposure times even low concentrations of harmful agents could affect our health in the long term and cause chronic diseases.

At the heart of Building Biology lies the notion that nature is the golden principle to which we should be designing our buildings, so that for instance, electromagnetic radiation levels and air and water quality should match nature as closely as possible.

Homes or dwellings can be seen as organisms. The term third skin accurately describes the intimate relationship between humans and our living space, vividly illustrating how closely we are interrelated with our living environment, and in how many ways we are dependent on it.

HALLS_56 kitchen
Hallsannery, Bideford, UK.
To be healthy we not only need wholesome food and adequate exercise  – we must also have a healthy environment. Buildings, where they are, how they are designed and what they are made of, affect our health.