BUILDING BIOLOGY & ECOLOGY

Homes or dwellings can be seen as organisms. The term third skin accurately describes the intimate relationship between humans and their living space. It vividly illustrates how closely we are interrelated with our living environment and also in how many ways we are dependent on it. We define building biology as the study of the holistic interrelationships between humans and their living environment. In the lack of bio-logic principles, housing needs could not be met sufficiently, thus building culture and art cannot improve itself, and housing becomes simpler, soulless and irresponsive. As a discipline building biology carries a cultural and biologic meaning, having a scope without limit, can rather be qualified as interdisciplinary. 

In our days, we are spending 90% of our lives in closed artificial environments, or indoors that became the most important environs determining our health. Building biology, organizes inner spaces with the target of keeping us healthy. This approach, that can also be defined as 'prudence for health risks' prevails in communities where environmental consciousness is spread to the grass root level. Building biology requires designing a building that will not sicken us, instead of being obliged to treat a psychological or physiological illness caused by the building.

Conceptually based on 25 principles building biology in its application considers sustainable building materials, acoustic insulation, human health oriented indoor climate, air quality, psychological compatibility, besides environmental health, energy efficiency and water cycles and geological suitability of the construction area. Besides architecture and interior design carried out within the mentioned context, building biology also includes inspections of present buildings using the Standard of Building Biology Testing Methods (SBM). All testing results, instruments and procedures are documented in a final written report. In case potential problems are identified, an effective remediation strategy is presented.

Major elements affecting our health:

  • Building materials and design

  • Furnitures

  • Electrical installation

  • Paints and polishing

  • Floor covering

  • Electrical home appliances

  • Building and insulation materials

  • Air conditioning and heating systems

25 PRINCIPLES OF BUILDING BIOLOGY

  1. 1. Geological relevancy of the construction area

  2. 2. Residential homes away from sources of emissions and noise

  3. 3. Low-density housing with sufficient green space

  4. 4. Personalized, natural, human- and family-oriented housing and settlements

  5. 5. Breathing facades

  6. 6. Natural and unadulterated building materials

  7. 7. Natural regulation of indoor air humidity through humidity-buffering materials

  8. 8. Low total moisture content of a new building that dries out quickly

  9. 9. Well-balanced ratio between thermal insulation and heat retention

  10. 10. Optimal air and surface temperatures

  11. 11. Natural conditions of light, lighting and color

  12. 12. Neutralization of the air and its filtration from harmful matters

  13. 13. Building materials with radioactivity levels lower than natural conditions

  14. 14. Changing the natural balance of background radiation as little as possible

  15. 15. Without human-made electromagnetic and radio frequency radiation exposure

  16. 16. Human-oriented noise and vibration protection

  17. 17. Pleasant or neutral smell, without outgassing toxins

  18. 18. Protecting the natural electromagnetic field in the earth's crust

  19. 19. Protecting the natural electric field in the air

  20. 20. Causing no environmental problems and avoiding high energy consumption during construction and
    demolishment of the building

  21. 21. Minimizing energy consumption and utilizing as much renewable energy as possible

  22. 22. Building materials preferably from the local region without promoting exploitation of scarce and hazardous resources

  23. 23. Application of physiological and ergonomic findings to interior and furniture design

  24. 24. Consideration of harmonic measures, proportions and shapes

  25. 25. Building site without natural and human made disturbance