- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 12 Jun 2018
Building related illness
To help develop this article, click 'Edit this article' above.
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.
BRIs and stresses are caused by a number of factors such as:
- 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.
- Ergonomics in construction.
- Health and safety consultant.
- 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.
Featured articles and news
How to get results with building life cycle assessment.
Government publishes a prospectus inviting proposals for new 'garden communities'.
The Morandi motorway bridge in Genoa collapses during rainstorm while undergoing maintenance works.
'Developed design' is a phrase coined by the RIBA for their 2013 Plan of Work. But what does it actually mean?
New green paper published aiming to rebalance the relationship between landlords and residents and tackle stigma.
RIBA calls for a comprehensive ban on combustible materials.
Lump sum contracts can be referred to as ‘fixed price’ contracts, although strictly this is not correct. Find out more here.
Ramboll offer guidance to civil engineers on how to make projects 'off-site ready'.
Government announces its Rough Sleeping Strategy, with further funding for social housing.
An overlooked architect who deserves to be celebrated for his wide range of buildings.
The Home Quality Mark ONE technical manuals for new homes are now available.