Up until the mid 1900's our building materials mainly consisted of timber, brick, stone, earth, lime, straw and other organic materials, since then our buildings are mainly constructed from concrete, steel, plastic and glass.
These water impervious materials severely reduce a buildings ability to breathe and regulate the interior air, temperature, moisture levels, and electrical charges.
Pollutants are trapped within the air mass of the building envelope, excessive moisture contributes to accelerated mould growth, and the synthetic materials create high electrical static charges. Building materials influence almost all interior climate factors including air and surface temperatures; horizontal and vertical gradual temperature differences; building material and air moisture content, air movement and natural ventilation. Because of this we should be sourcing and using the materials that do the best for our living environment and minimising those that contribute to the building problems.
Building Biology Australia use the Building Material Criteria to rate building materials according to their effect on the building internal environment, as well as the effect that the materials production, availability and use has on the external environment as a whole. When you are choosing any material to be used within a building, the material must be assessed as to its impact on both environments.
Natural occurring materials are often more beneficial to the creation of a healthy home than synthetic, energy inefficient ones. They can be also more sustainable, longer lasting generally with less adverse environmental impact and tend to be more cost effective in the long term.
A Building Biology Consultation will recommend the use of healthier alternatives to many of the well advertised building products on the market today. All materials chosen for the project from basic construction to fit out and furnishings can be rated to assess their health and environmental impact allowing you to choose the best materials for your construction and finishing.
Recommendations can be made regarding the use of less than suitable materials to minimise any of the health and environmental impact concerns the material may present.