healthy buildingsIIn the late '70s the health aspect of building materials was barely known in the construction industry for years. Even in architect schools nothing was told about this matter. Some doctors sounded the alarm: Particular in Germany Dr. Schneider founded the Institut für das Baubiologie, Dr. Palm wrote das Gesundes Haus and Dr. Hartmann 'Krankheit as Standort Problem' and Wulf-Dietrich Rose Wohngifte.
Fortunately, in the 21th century products such as asbestos, pentachlorophenol, lindane and CFCs are prohibited and the use of phenol formaldehyde standardized meanwhile.
The more common concept 'sick building syndrome' was and is usually due to poor ventilation and air conditioning systems. As Dr Palm illustrate , the extensive use of reinforced concrete also influences the necessary natural fields ( Faraday cage). Therefore, wooden houses are optimal. For solid masonry structures we use less dense materials than concrete, namely stone vaults and limestone bricks . Anyway we avoid materials that are potentially harmful. Synthetic materials can emit monomers depending on the production process and will exhale toxins in fire, which has caused already fatal situations.
Indoor air can be contaminated with VOCs (Volatile organic compounds). Therefore it is important to use water-based instead of solvent-based products.
Healthy building can mean more than avoiding toxic materials.
What a sensory delight we experience rubbing in beeswax on a wooden floor! We are gifted with several senses. If we let ourselves be guided thereby we make for ourselves a better world in the broad sense.
PS Dr Palm distinguished four types diseases caused by unhealthy buildings:
- concrete diseases: by Faraday cage effect
- chemical diseases caused by toxic, unhealthy materials and systems
-geopathic diseases ': diseases by earth radiation
-Electromagnetic diseases ': diseases by electricity