Building Biology 25 Principles
No one rating system can isolate every possible environmental angle, and the International Institute of Building Biology founders were certainly most interested in human health, but it is hard to imagine a more comprehensive healthy building checklist than what’s provided in the Building Biology 25 Principles.
It is quite difficult to incorporate every principle into a single building project, and I would say even more difficult than implementing the Living Building Challenge prerequisites. An astute reader will realize that a few of the Building Biology Principles are the exact opposite of some LEED credits. For instance, LEED promotes building on contaminated sites (aka “brown fields”) in densely populated areas, while Building Biology discourages building on “disturbed” land without “sufficient green space.” To my knowledge, Building Biology has the most human-health focused building design guidelines in the US.
For those entrenched green building consultants who only know one rating system… it’s time to branch out and learn about Building Biology Healthy Home Standard, the Green Guide for Health Care (GGHC), GreenPoint Rated, etc. Each system has its strengths and weaknesses, and a well-rounded consultant should be familiar with all these innovative rating systems.
The 25 Principles of “Baubiologie” (Building Biology)
- Building site without natural and human-made disturbances
- Residential homes away from sources of emissions and noise
- Low-density housing with sufficient green space
- Personalized, natural, human- and family-oriented housing and settlements
- Building without causing social burdens
- Natural and unadulterated building materials
- Natural regulation of indoor air humidity through humidity-buffering materials
- Low total moisture content of a new building that dries out quickly
- Well-balanced ratio between thermal insulation and heat retention
- Optimal air and surface temperatures
- Good indoor air quality through natural ventilation
- Heating system based on radiant heat
- Natural conditions of light, lighting and color
- Changing the natural balance of background radiation as little as possible
- Without human-made electromagnetic and radiofrequency radiation exposure
- Building materials with low radioactivity levels
- Human-oriented noise and vibration protection
- With a pleasant or neutral smell and without outgassing toxins
- Reduction of fungi, bacteria, dust and allergens as low as possible
- Best possible drinking water quality
- Causing no environmental problems
- Minimizing energy consumption and utilizing as much renewable energy as possible
- Building materials preferably from the local region without promoting exploitation of scarce and hazardous resources
- Application of physiological and ergonomic findings to interior and furniture design
- Consideration of harmonic measures, proportions and shapes
If you’ve got a project and want to implement the 25 Principles of Building Biology – we’re here to help.