Sick Building Syndrome: Are We Doing Enough?

Amirhosein Ghaffarianhoseini, Husam Al Waer (Lead / Corresponding author), Hossein Omrany, Ali Ghaffarianhoseini, Chaham Alalouch, Derek Clements-Croome, John Tookey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

141 Citations (Scopus)
1478 Downloads (Pure)


Health and well-being are vitally important aspects of people centric building design and are the roots of productivity. Sick building syndrome (SBS) is a collection of factors that can negatively affect physical health in several ways. Besides physical health is also related to psychological well-being because the human body is one interactive biological system. This paper focuses on reviewing the current state of knowledge on building sickness syndrome which has been prevalent as a building illness since the 1970s especially in offices and schools. While the concepts of intelligent, smart and sustainable buildings have gained considerable attention during recent decades, there is now increasing attention being given to designing healthy buildings. This study provides a review about SBS symptoms. Several negative effects of SBS are identified and potential solutions are advocated. Finally, the study stresses the role of built environment and concludes that ongoing research towards tackling SBS and developing healthy indoor environments should not be limited to a single formula as any health-related building design approach is dependent on several interacting factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-121
Number of pages23
JournalArchitectural Science Review
Issue number3
Early online date2 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2018


  • Healthy buildings
  • building design
  • building occupants
  • indoor environments
  • sick building syndrome
  • sustainability
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture


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