Principles of Building Biology

Buildings as a third skin?

In Bau-Biologie, we envisage humans wearing multiple layers of skin. The first skin is the actual living organ that contains the body, provides protection from the elements and it must be able to 'breathe'. Secondly, our clothes are our second skin. By wearing clothes made of natural fibres that breathe and which do not attract positive ions, we nurture our first skin and enhance its functions. There is actually a scientific field of study dedicated to understand how our external environment’s effect upon our genes can influence disease? Epigenetics could prove more important than genetics for understanding environmental causes of diseases. 

The push for higher air-tightness standards might be improving the energy performance of buildings, but what affect is it having on the health of occupants? This is where Building biology takes a whole view of the connections between the built and non built environment, and human biology. The discipline treats buildings as a ‘third skin’ that is just as important to human health as our skin or clothing.

Images copyright @thelifesourcesolution

The 25 Principles of Building Biology

Verify that the building site is geologically undisturbed
Place dwellings away from industrial centers and major traffic roads
Place dwellings well apart from each other in spaciously planned developments amidst green areas
Plan homes and developments taking into consideration the human aspect and the needs of community, families, and individuals while respecting the natural environment
Use natural and unadulterated building materials
Use wall, floor and ceiling materials that allow the diffusion of moisture
Allow natural self-regulation of indoor air humidity using hygroscopic materials
Consider sorption of building materials and plants (in- and outside), which allow filtration and neutralization of toxic airborne substances
Design for a balance between thermal mass and insulation in living spaces
Plan for optimal surface and air temperature
Use thermal radiation for heating buildings employing solar energy as much as possible.
Assure health-promoting humidity levels and rapid desiccation of wet construction processes in new buildings
Utilize building materials, which have neutral or pleasant natural scents and which do not emit toxic vapors
Provide for natural light and use illumination and color in accordance with nature
Provide adequate protection from noise and infrasonic vibration or sound conducted through solids.
Avoid building materials that have elevated radioactivity levels.
Preserve the natural (DC) air electrical field and physiologically beneficial ion balance in space.
Preserve the natural (DC) magnetic field.
Minimize technical (AC) electric and (AC) magnetic fields.
Minimize the alteration of vital cosmic and terrestrial radiation.
Utilize physiological knowledge in furniture and space design.
Consider proportion, harmonic orders, and shapes in design
Consider proportion, harmonic orders, and shapes in design
Do not support products or building materials that over-use limited and irreplaceable raw materials.
Support building activities and production of materials which do not have adverse side effects of any kind and which promote health and social well-being.

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