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.
- 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
IHBC book review: Charles Barry’s monumental struggle to rebuild the Houses of Parliament.
Read about RSHP's British Museum extension which has been shortlisted for the 2017 Stirling Prize.
Read our introductory article to building a house extension.
More updates from DCMS about the large-scale testing of cladding systems and the number of buildings affected.
UandI secure resolution to grant planning consent for major new regeneration project.
IHBC article considers how heritage is dealt with when infrastructure schemes are authorised.
It was the tallest structure in the world for 3,800 years, but to this day the exact construction techniques are a mystery.
Shortlist for the industry's most coveted award announced.
Government responds to Mark Farmer's review of industry, rejecting the call for a levy on clients.
Peter Hansford to examine what wider lessons can be learned from the fire.
Every project is subject to uncertainty. How can construction better understand uncertainty for performance improvement?
MAD Architects reveal their designs for a futuristic campus for electric car manufacturer.
Homebuyers could borrow more with better forecasting of energy bills, according to industry consortium's new report.