What does Biology have to do with Building?

What does Biology have to do with Building?


Our book is based upon principles taught by the International Institute for Bau-Biologie® and Ecology (IBE) in Clearwater, Florida (727-461-4371) and practiced by graduates of their program around the world.

We work with, not against, the forces of Nature and promote the time-honored practices of artisans and craftsmen in Europe over the centuries. These include the use of post and beam construction, with daub and wattle techniques of using plaster and other natural materials. Hand-crafted homes built this traditional way are still standing today, with no evidence of mold because they can dry out when they do become wet.

While we fully support almost all of the provisions of the modern "green" movement and certainly agree that all building practices need to support the environment, our emphasis is first and foremost on creating living and work spaces that are healthy for their occupants.

For most of us building biologists in practice with the general public, more than half of our clients are chemically- and/or electrically-sensitive. These people know that about themselves and don't need to be reminded of the impact sick buildings have on their health. They are also relieved to know that we as a profession understand what they are going through and can help them design and build a new or remodeled home that supports their recovery and avoids adding any toxic or unhealthy influences.

We also feel that everyone is affected by exposure to toxicity in building materials commonly used in construction today. As a result, we make the same recommendations to all of our clients, whether they tell us they are chemically-sensitive or not. Clients often report that after our evaluations and consultations, their asymptomatic spouses often feel better, too.

We applaud the efforts of manufacturers, building material retailers, architects and builders who are moving towards more non-toxic products, led by such organizations as the US Green Building Council and local green building programs around the country. As a result, millions of people here and around the world are exposed to far less toxicity from the carpeting, paint and glues that are used.

The three main areas that we focus on as building biologists are making sure that the house successfully handles water intrusion and mold, that the client avoids chemical exposure with any building materials, and that they have reduced exposure to electric, magnetic and radio frequency fields, particularly where they sleep.

In terms of the information in our Breathing Walls manual having an impact on your health, we primarily focus on the first two issues, that is, making sure your home properly handles water intrusion and has no toxicity. We hope you find the information contained within it helpful in designing a home or office that promotes good health for you and your family and co-workers while keeping our environment "green" and sustainable.