After World War II, houses and buildings were erected quickly and cheaply as a means to rebuild Germany. However, many people living and working in these houses and buildings soon became noticeably ill, with all signs pointing to the new buildings as the cause. It was this phenomenon that inspired the baubiologie movement in Germany, and has since been infused in other parts of the world as well. Below are the 25 principles of baubiologie.

Baubiologie is a German term that is interchangeable with “building biology.”
  1. Building site without natural and human-made disturbances
  2. Residential homes away from sources of emissions and noise
  3. Low-density housing with sufficient green space
  4. Personalized, natural, human- and family-oriented housing and settlements
  5. Building without causing social burdens
  6. Natural and unadulterated building materials
  7. Natural regulation of indoor air humidity through humidity-buffering materials
  8. Low total moisture content of a new building that dries out quickly
  9. Well-balanced ratio between thermal insulation and heat retention
  10. Optimal air and surface temperatures
  11. Good indoor air quality through natural ventilation
  12. Heating system based on radiant heat
  13. Natural conditions of light, lighting and color
  14. Changing the natural balance of background radiation as little as possible
  15. Without human-made electromagnetic and radiofrequency radiation exposure
  16. Building materials with low radioactivity levels
  17. Human-oriented noise and vibration protection
  18. With a pleasant or neutral smell and without outgassing toxins
  19. Reduction of fungi, bacteria, dust and allergens as low as possible
  20. Best possible drinking water quality
  21. Causing no environmental problems
  22. Minimizing energy consumption and utilizing as much renewable energy as possible
  23. Building materials preferably from the local region without promoting exploitation of scarce and hazardous resources
  24. Application of physiological and ergonomic findings to interior and furniture design
  25. Consideration of harmonic measures, proportions and shapes
This is some straw bale home!

In today’s world, very little attention is paid to the above-noted principles when building a new home or construction. The green movement has helped to push the world toward green building materials, and that is good, but so many new buildings are still being made with the cheapest and most toxic materials available. Furthermore, green does not always equal healthy for humans, even though oftentimes it does. Baubiologie goes a step beyond green building to recognize that inhabitants’ health is equally important to the building process as preserving the environment. It does so by placing an emphasis on both. This is what we need as we move forward in the 21st century – building practices that incorporate ecological and human health concerns at the top of every aspect of the building process.

Author:  Erik is a content contributor for Erik Organic, a retailer of custom, eco-friendly kitchen tables.

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