A human body is a living organism or structure, embodied with energies in and around, with self maintained systems (physiology) running by themselves to maintain the organism. Similarly a building is also an enclosed vibrating structure with embodied energies in and around with partially self created systems & process primarily supported by forces of nature. Every structure is an enclosed space or embodied spatial form surcharged with energies within.
A building is like a human body in many aspects. Human body can become sick if it is exposed to unhealthy environment. Over exposure to carbon monoxide, Sulpher dioxide, negative radiations, energies, or unhealthy air with organic and inorganic contaminations can drive a living organism towards sickness. Similarly a building which is exposed to similar unhealthy conditions can become sick and make the occupants sick. If a building becomes sick for long durations, the internal bioclimate of the building which is self created self maintained systems gets badly affected. As a result the whole internal system (internal bioclimate) of the building becomes unhealthy. When the complete anatomy and physiology (structure and its functioning) of the building gets affected, it is termed as SICK BUILDING.
If 20% or more of the building’s occupants complain of such problems as headache, eye irritation, nausea, sore throats, dry or itchy skin, sinus congestion, nose irritation, fatigue and dizziness etc for more than two weeks, it may indicate sick building syndrome. It is also described as human health conditions where infections linger, caused by exposure to toxins and contaminants within a building as a result of poor ventilation, lack of natural sunlight, negative radiations, energies, stresses and aggressions. It is an Ill-health or discomfort caused by a structure’s design and/or the materials used to construct it.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) describes the term “sick building syndrome (SBS) as situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified. The complaints may be localized in a particular room or zone, or may be widespread throughout the building. In contrast, the term “building related illness” (BRI) is used when symptoms of diagnosable illness are identified and can be attributed directly to airborne building contaminants.
The Environmental Illness Resource describes Sick building syndrome as a broad label that covers a range of symptoms thought to be triggered when the sufferer spends time in a particular building. Symptoms range from specific symptoms such as itchy eyes, skin rashes, and nasal allergy symptomsto more vague symptoms such as fatigue, aches and pains, and sensitivity to odours.
The term “sick building syndrome, was first coined in the 1970s, and its recognition at this time may in part be attributable to the increasing presence of electronic equipment and other factors. It is used when the symptoms of a significant number of people occupying a particular building, are associated with their presence in that building. In most cases sick building syndrome occurs in office buildings, although it may also occur in other communal buildings such as schools and apartment buildings.
Wikipedia describes Sick building syndrome (SBS) is a combination of ailments (a syndrome) associated with an individual’s place of work (office building) or residence.
Wiktionary.has described sick building syndrome as adverse environmental conditions in a building that pose a health risk to its occupants; the symptoms experienced by people who work there.
In our opinion Sick Building Syndrome is a complex problem created by multiple factors both physical and non physical in nature, affecting not just the physical but also the mental, emotional, intellectual and spiritual comfort and balance of the occupants. It is not just created through poor indoor air quality and poor building materials as mostly known but is also affected by many other factors combininly creating unhealthy internal bioclimate including holistic factors too.