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Building Biology Series 1. Building Biology – so much more than just another Ecolabel – Online

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Join us for event one of four two-hour technical sessions on Building Biology: covering the science, design process, standards, good practice guidance and build examples.


Healthy buildings = healthy people

In the 20+ years The Green Register has been operating, construction professionals have come to understand that buildings need to enhance our physical and mental health: healthy building is an essential aspect of sustainable design.

It is a wide-ranging subject, from healthy indoor air quality through to some less well-understood issues such as electromagnetic radiation exposure.

It is essential that the science behind these issues is understood and this series of four two-hour Building Biology seminars provides the scientific evidence for all key aspects of healthy buildings.

Delivered by certified Building Biologist and architect Tomas Gäertner, practitioners will gain a deep and thorough understanding of:

  • Design process of healthy buildings
  • Technical standards
  • Good practice guidance
  • Specific measurement methods for indoor air quality
  • Measurement and evaluation of electromagnetic radiation exposure and assessment of possible health risks
  • Case Studies illustrating best practice

Buildings today often contain inherent chemical, physiological and biological risks as a result of materials and processes employed by the construction industry in a drive to minimise costs and build times. Simultaneously the UK currently falls behind European and International standards of best practice concerning the use of many materials.

Building Biology is the holistic study of the interrelationships between humans and their man-made environment. It is the science of creating healthy, life enhancing buildings. The Institute of Building Biology and Sustainability was founded in Germany in 1983 and from this the Building Biology Standard (Standard der Baubiologischen Messtechnik / SBM) was developed. This standard (most recently SBM-2015) gives an overview of the physical, chemical and biological, risks encountered in different parts of a building.

Our course is presented by Tomas Gäertner, one of the experts in the field. Tomas is an architect, certified Building Biologist IBN and founding Director of the Building Biology Association, the UK Partner of the German Institute for Building Biology IBN. He is also a director of SE3Design a design led RIBA chartered practice specialising in human-centred, ecological and sustainable design.

The Building Biology movement is growing with over 6000 architects, doctors, surveyors and material suppliers trained internationally to create interiors which promote life within the built environment.

What did previous attendees say about the series?

"A fantastic set of webinars and thought inspiring, a ‘wakeup call’ about the hidden health implications of the environment we have shaped over the past 50 years!"
"The event was perfect - no further improvements in my opinion"
"Excellent presenter - knowledgeable and engaging"
"Just amazing level of content for only 4 sessions, and enough to keep me busy for the next 10 years!"
"Very informative and thought provoking - Tomas is a Green Hero!"
Attendees consistently rate the series as "excellent" with 87% of delegates rating the course as "excellent" and the other 13% rating it as "very good" when first held

All Dates:

On average we spend about 90% of our time indoors and 30% of our time in bedrooms. With these exposure times even low concentrations of potentially harmful substances can affect our health in the long term and cause chronic diseases. More vulnerable inhabitants like children and elderly persons are particularly exposed to this risk.

Event One: Building Biology – so much more than just another Ecolabel

More than 150 different ‘eco labels’ are currently in use in the UK for marketing of all sorts of products and materials – from household goods to building products and entire buildings. It has become a game of ‘Top Trumps’. The more we tick as designers the more sustainable our buildings, when in fact most of these labels are only industry driven sales tools with little practical benefit for the project or end user.

The building biology standard (ie SBM 2015) has no intention to add to this. This standard is all about the environment we create within our completed buildings. Designed around the 25 building biology principles and based on scientifically proven testing methods, the standard defines measurable criteria that allow to test whether the environment within our buildings is healthy for the end users. This session will outline the 25 building biology principles, give an overview of design strategies to meet this challenging standard, how other UK performance-, eco- and health standards compare and which of them are useful when assessing materials and products.


About the trainer:

The sessions are based on the content of the Building Biology distance learning course and will be delivered by Tomas Gäertner.

Tomas is a practicing architect specialising in human centred, healthy high-performance design. As a verified Building Biologist and Passivhaus Designer he collaboratively works with contractors and design teams across the UK and is also a Passivhaus Certifier accredited with the Passivhaus Institute in Germany.

He worked as an Architect in Germany before joining a multidisciplinary UK practice of Architects and Mechanical Engineers in 2007. As a director and lead architect he was responsible for the practice’s large scale, multi residential, commercial, care and leisure facility Passivhaus projects.

In 2018 he joined SE3Design as managing director and principal architect. SE3D specialise exclusively in Passivhaus design and are the only UK Building Biology Consultancy accredited with the German Institute for Bau Biology IBN.

Tomas is a regular speaker at conferences like the UK Passivhaus conference, AECB conference and Ecobuild and has been working regularly with the Green Register and the RIBA to deliver sustainability seminars on their CPD programme since 2018. He is a chartered member of the RIBA and ARB, Certified Building Biologist IBN, experienced Passivhaus designer and accredited Passivhaus Certifier.


19/09/2023 from 15:00 to 17:00
Event Fee(s)
TGR Members - All sessions £108.00
Non-members - All sessions £144.00
TGR Members - Session 1 only £30.00
Non-members - Session 1 only £40.00
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