Building Biology – What is it?

Written by Lucinda Curran

13 February 2013

Building Biology

Building Biology was developed by Prof. Anton Schneider in the 1970s.

It is a science which examines the way our built environments impact on our health, and reciprocally, also the way we can design healthy buildings.

Core to building biology is the precautionary principle – on which our exposure standards are based.

Exposure standards, in Building Biology, are based on health and wellbeing. If something isn’t known to be safe, caution is warranted and prudent avoidance is recommended.

We adopt the Precautionary Principle.

Nature (and natural levels) is our ideal – for air quality, EMF and more.

Why does this matter?

It matters because we spend a lot of our time indoors – and the indoor environment can play a very large role in our health and wellbeing.

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The 25 Principles of Building Biology

These are the guiding principles for building biology, as set out by the Institut Fur Baubiologie and Nachhaltigkeit:

  1. Use natural and unadulterated building materials.
  2. A building shall have a pleasant or neutral smell, not releasing any toxins.
  3. Use building materials with the lowest possible level of radioactivity.
  4. Protective measures against noise and vibration pollution need to be based on human needs.
  5. Regulate indoor air humidity naturally by using humidity-buffering materials.
  6. The total moisture content of a new building shall be low and dry out quickly.
  7. Strive for a well-balanced ratio between thermal insulation and heat retention.
  8. Optimise indoor surface and air temperatures of a given space.
  9. Promote good indoor air quality through natural ventilation.
  10. Use radiant heat for heating.
  11. Interfere as little as possible with the natural balance of nature’s own background radiation.
  12. Prevent exposures to human-made sources of electromagnetic fields and radio-frequency radiation.
  13. Minimise exposures to mould, bacteria, dust, and allergens.
  14. Minimise energy consumption while using renewable energy whenever possible.
  15. Prefer regional building materials, not promoting the exploitation of scarce and hazardous resources.
  16. Building activities shall cause no environmental problems.
  17. Choose the best possible drinking water quality.
  18. Take harmonic measures, proportions, and shapes into consideration.
  19. Select light exposures, lighting systems, and colour schemes following natural conditions.
  20. Base interior and furniture design on physiological and ergonomic findings.
  21. Site buildings on land free from geological and human-made disturbances.
  22. Locate residential homes away from pollutant and noise sources.
  23. Provide low-density housing with sufficient green space.
  24. Develop individualised housing and settlements in harmony with nature in ways that support human and family needs.
  25. Building activities shall cause no social problems.
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What to Look for in a Building Biologist

Your building biologist should:

  1. Be qualified, having studied at a registered training organisation (RTO);
  2. Keep their skills up-to-date;
  3. Hold membership of a professional association;
  4. Be knowledgeable, experienced and committed to finding the cause and offering solutions;
  5. Be objective and yet empathetic; and
  6. Embrace being thorough and have an attention to detail.

At Eco Health Solutions we are more than just a building biologist due to the continuous learning of new information and skills.

We offer a virtual Indoor Environmental Health Assessment.

Book yours today!


Discover how to WFH without adversely affecting your healthy home.

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Lucinda Curran is very knowledgeable and thorough and I know I can always rely on her expertise.

I would highly recommend Eco Health Solutions to anyone who cares about their health and environment.

~ Elena

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Meet Lucinda Curran

Meet Lucinda Curran

Founder & Indoor Environmental Health Consultant

After becoming extremely unwell due to environmental stressors, Lucinda set about learning everything she could to empower others to protect their health.

Outside of work, you can find her relaxing with her husband and 2 Skye terriers in nature, and caring for wildlife.


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