- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 09 Nov 2020
Building related illness
People in industrialised countries spend over 90% of their lives in indoor environments; therefore symptoms and illness related to these environments are common. The term building-related illness (BRI) is used to refer to disorders associated with, and directly caused by, being in and around a building.
BRIs differ from sick building syndrome (SBS) because the causes can be determined, whereas SBS is used as a term to refer to symptoms of acute health and/or comfort effects for which no specific cause can be found but that can be attributed to time spent in a particular building.
- Biological factors.
- Physical factors.
- Chemical factors.
- Organisational and management factors.
- Psychological and psychosomatic factors.
The most common indicators of BRIs include:
- Occupants of a building experience symptoms such as coughing, chest tightness, fever, chills, muscle aches.
- The symptoms can be clinically defined and have clearly identifiable causes.
- After leaving the building, complainants may require prolonged recovery times.
Examples of BRIs include the following:
- Legionella infection.
- Occupational asthma.
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
- Inhalational fever.
- Humidifier fever.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Building design.
- Building pathology.
- Design quality.
- Designing for employee wellbeing.
- Ergonomics in construction.
- Growing focus on IAQ challenges for specifiers and HVAC manufacturers.
- Health and safety consultant.
- Health effects of indoor air quality on children and young people.
- Human comfort in buildings.
- Indoor air quality.
- Indoor environmental quality.
- Noise nuisance.
- Sick building syndrome.
- TG10 2016 At a glance, wellbeing.
- Thermal comfort.
- Thermal comfort and wellbeing.
- The full cost of poor housing.
 External references
Featured articles and news
Improving facilities, accessibility and overall appearance.
Free download of TG 12/2021 available.
TESP works with The Youth Group to form skill sharing network.
Big tech collaborates on platform for the built environment.
Letter signed by 21 organisations sent to MHCLG.
A look at the Government's strategic approach.
Steps to help reduce the spread of infection inside buildings.
This social media-centred hobby can be both dangerous and illegal.
Millwork wall treatment with a long and illustrious history.
HSE introduces cumulative exposure calculator.
The Edwardians and their houses.
Cut off from civilian life for over 900 years.
Gaining green support from the carbon giants.
Click the button to subscribe.