Can a Building Make You Sick?

Dec 5, 2012

I don’t know about other people but when I walk into a badly designed building (one that is stuffy and dark) I want to get out as quickly as possible. Well apparently this can manifest as an actual health condition known as Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) symptoms include bowel disruption, suppressed immune system, insomnia, and skin irritation. SBS results from poor ventilation, man made electromagnetic fields and other aspects that result from poor design. An Irish architect has come up with a solution, the concept of biologic architecture. Biologic architecture employs the golden ratio or Phi (1.618) in a lot of its features. This ratio can be found in the spiral of DNA, the branching of a tree and even facial beauty. Most buildings today do not use this ratio, which is I'm guessing is why older buildings (which do use this ratio) are seen as more beautiful. This type of architecture is green because it is more efficient with materials (Curved walls are stronger than straight ones), and it uses passive solar design to help bring natural light inside.


Sam, I had never thought of

Submitted by psullivan on Wed, 2012-12-05 23:24.

I had never thought of buildings as being able to make you sick, but now that you mention it, I know exactly what you are talking about. I have walked into many a building and immediately gotten a bad feeling, which usually results in me leaving rather quickly. I find it very interesting that this problem can be solved with the golden ration. Who knew that it appeared "in the spiral of DNA, the branching of a tree and even facial beauty"? This is a great topic Sam, keep up the good work!

Thats Interesting

Submitted by Eric Larson on Thu, 2012-12-06 00:02.

I have never heard of something like this before. It is very interesting how much something people are in all day can cause genuine health problems. I never thought that this could be a possibility, but you bring up some good points. I am excited to see what else you have to write about in the future.

Sam, I never really thought

Submitted by PTDriffill on Fri, 2012-12-07 00:14.

I never really thought about this. I can understand getting a bad feeling from an ugly looking room but not from the architectural features. It will be interesting to see what you find out about this and see what you can do to solve this.


Submitted by gabisavchuk on Fri, 2012-12-07 01:24.

I can't believe there is something that is actually called Sick Building Syndrome, but I am intrigued now as to what you will post next about your research topic. Human beings have a tendency towards embellishment (yes, that is from the essay we read in English today) and a tendency towards aesthetically pleasing visuals. Architecture is a form of art, so it definitely makes sense that people can become ill basically from a lack of architectural design. This is quite interesting, and I think it is a great topic to choose because it relates to a career you are interested in pursuing. I never thought about why ancient and Renaissance structures are the epitome of architectural beauty, but from the information you discovered it makes sense., I found your post

Submitted by 16savinone on Wed, 2013-11-20 13:37.,

I found your post really interesting because i have noticed and can relate to a lot of the things that you have said because it is true. Older buildings are much more comfortable to be in and are viewed more with endearing eyes not just because of the fact that they are old and they give insight to the past but because certain factors are taken into consideration. For example, there are certain forms of architecture that are starting to gain momentum in different parts of the world. Green architecture has been around for a while but it is hard to be able to create a building that would not be as sickening. Some forms of architecture take into consideration which side of the building is going to be facing the sun and how much natural light is going to enter the building. Other buildings that are less sickening are more ventilated through some natural forms of ventilated. Thanks for your interesting post!