These guidelines help to assure a dwelling is life-enhancing for all its inhabitants, and not detrimental to its builders, with as little disruption to the environment as possible, and apply to new construction as well as to renovations.
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Site and Community Design
- Verify that the site is free of naturally-occurring and man-made health hazards.
- Place dwellings so occupants are undisturbed by sources of man-made air, soil, water, noise and electro-pollution.
- Place dwellings in well-planned communities that provide ample access to fresh air, sunshine and nature.
- Plan homes and developments considering the needs of community, families and individuals of all ages.
Occupant Health and Well-Being
- Use natural and unadulterated building materials.
- Allow natural self-regulation of indoor air humidity using hygroscopic (humidity buffering) building materials.
- Assure low total moisture content and rapid desiccation of wet construction processes in new buildings.
- Design for a climatically appropriate balance between thermal insulation and thermal storage capacity.
- Plan for climatically appropriate surface and air temperature.
- Provide for ample ventilation.
- Use appropriate thermal radiation strategies for heating buildings including passive solar wherever viable.
- Provide an abundance of well-balanced natural light and illumination while using color in accordance with nature.
- Provide adequate acoustical protection from harmful noise and vibration.
- Utilize non-toxic building materials that have neutral or pleasant natural scents.
- Use appropriate water and moisture exclusion techniques to prevent interior growth of fungi, bacteria, dust and allergens.
- Assure best possible water quality by applying purification technologies if required.
- Utilize physiological and ergonomic knowledge in interior and furniture design.
- Consider proportion, harmonic measure, order and shape in design.
Natural and Man-Made Electromagnetic Radiation Safety
- Minimize indoor interference with vital cosmic and terrestrial radiation.
- Minimize man-made power system and radio frequency radiation exposure generated from within the building and from outside sources.
- Avoid use of building materials that have elevated radioactivity levels.
Environmental Protection, Social Responsibility and Energy Efficiency
- Construction materials production and building processes shall provide for health and social well-being in every phase of the building’s life-cycle.
- Avoid the use of building materials that deplete irreplaceable natural resources or are being harvested in an unsustainable manner.
- Minimize energy consumption throughout the life of the building utilizing climate-based and energy efficient design, energy and water saving technologies and renewable energy.
- Consider the embodied energy and environmental life cycle costs when choosing all materials used in construction.
by: Paula Baker-Laporte, Christopher Bell, Lawrence Gust, Spark Burmaster for: Building Biology Institute