The Science of Building Biology

How do we design natural healthy ecological homes, schools, and workplaces that exist in harmony with the planetary environment?

Building Biology™ is the holistic study of the built environment and its impact on human health and planetary ecology. Its principles are based on the premise that homes and buildings should be both healthy for occupants (biologically compatible) and sound for the environment (ecologically sustainable).

Post WW2, renowned architect Helmut Ziehe brought the principles of Building Biology to the US with the mission to help create healthy homes, schools, and workplaces, free of toxins in the indoor air and tapwater, and electromagnetic pollutants.

Scientists and doctors began to observe that these synthetic mass-produced industrialized housing were cause of health issues in chronically unwell people living in them.

The interdisciplinary field of Building Biology was developed to determine:

  • The links between health issues and chemicals in building materials

  • Factors influencing electromagnetic field exposures

  • Construction methods

  • Water quality

  • Indoor air quality

Helmut Ziehe, a seasoned German architect who was working in North Africa in 1980. Ziehe helped design government homes made of concrete. Most of the city’s 90,000 inhabitants abandoned the homes, choosing to live in tents instead. Ziehe realised that health must be the primary concern in building design, eventually relocating to Florida where he founded the International Institute for Bau-Biologie & Ecology (IBE) in 1987. More information from IBE is available here:

The 25 Building Biology Principles

The Building Biology Principles form a strict set of standards to consider any living space, whether these are residential or commercial. These considerations form a comprehensive checklist when it comes to designing and building safe, healthy buildings that support our human vitality.

Read more about the Principles here, or download the 25 Building Biology Principles from the IBE.