Building biology is a field of building science investigating the indoor living environment for a variety of irritants. Practitioners study how the environment of residential, commercial and public buildings can affect the health of the occupants, producing a restful or stressful environment. Important areas of building biology are building materials and processes, electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and radiation (EMR), water and indoor air quality.
Sick Building Syndrome
The sick building syndrome comprises of various nonspecific symptoms that occur in the occupants of a building. This feeling of ill health increases sickness absenteeism and causes a decrease in productivity of the workers. The Living Electricity Institute works to educate individuals and businesses on the dangers of sick building syndrome to be able to make better choices for themselves and the their environments.
Here is what the United States Environmental Protection Agency had to say about it....
The term "sick building syndrome" (SBS) is used to describe situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified. The complaints may be localized in a particular room or zone, or may be widespread throughout the building. In contrast, the term "building related illness" (BRI) is used when symptoms of diagnosable illness are identified and can be attributed directly to airborne building contaminants.
A 1984 World Health Organization Committee report suggested that up to 30 percent of new and remodeled buildings worldwide may be the subject of excessive complaints related to indoor air quality (IAQ). Often this condition is temporary, but some buildings have long-term problems. Frequently, problems result when a building is operated or maintained in a manner that is inconsistent with its original design or prescribed operating procedures. Sometimes indoor air problems are a result of poor building design or occupant activities.
Indicators of SBS include:
- Building occupants complain of symptoms associated with acute discomfort, e.g., headache; eye, nose, or throat irritation; dry cough; dry or itchy skin; dizziness and nausea; difficulty in concentrating; fatigue; and sensitivity to odors.
- The cause of the symptoms is not known.
- Most of the complainants report relief soon after leaving the building.