Is your office making you sick?


Imagine if your office made you healthier? 


The notion that a building can be “sick” has been around for decades. The World Health Organisation first warned of the negative effects of indoor air quality in 1984, and from the start of this century, “building biologists” have been talking about “sick building syndrome”.


The theory is that buildings can make those who reside in them sick because of the high number of toxic chemicals found in common building materials, things like synthetic carpets, cleaning solvents, and compound board.


Tighter restrictions have been introduced which prevent the construction industry from using products which are known to cause serious health problems, nasty stuff like formaldehyde and asbestos.


But some people are firmly of the belief that it’s time to take things further. Of course buildings shouldn’t make you sick, but they should be designed to actively improve human health and wellbeing.


Dr Matthew Francis is a research industry fellow at RMIT University and he’s been studying what it means to construct buildings which enhance our lives, and he spoke with Kayley and Nick on the Daily Drive.