Learn to create a healthy interior in a house or building

Learn to understand and explain how physical characteristics of a building and its surrounds have an impact upon human health. Studying this complements Healthy Buildings I, and is an ideal follow on for anyone who has studied that course or it may be taken on its own.

Gain an understanding of:

  • The impact of chemicals used indoors on health
  • The impact of different furnishings
  • The effect of locations
  • The effects of pesticides using both inside and outside and more.. 

There are a number of ways in which the situation and site of a building can have a marked impact on firstly the overall comfort of a building and secondly, though perhaps even more importantly, the healthiness of that building. Weather is a fine example of an environmental factor but then so too is the presence of a potential fault line or sink hole. In the case of the latter two, the threat tends to be somewhat of an implied one. However, it is still pertinent.

These have been used as an example simply to reinforce the message that regardless of the cause, the human ability to sense or dislike an atmosphere is not one to be ignored. Thus if you feel uncomfortable with a certain situation you are likely to move away from it. If you feel slightly uncomfortable about a particular house or dwelling you will tend to keep away from it or not move in (if it was a potential new home). This is a perfectly normal healthy human response. It can be extrapolated from this that human health and a sense of ease and comfort with our surrounds are closely interconnected.

Some examples of undesirable building situations:

  • A site within easy smelling distance of a tannery or abattoir.
  • A site built in an aesthetically menacing situation, i.e. extremely ugly position.
  • A building that is prone to severe heat or cold depending on prevalent weather conditions.
  • A building that is situated on an atomic testing ground.
  • A site that is subject to constant loud noise.

Course Structure

  • 8 lessons
  • 8 assignments
  • 100 hours
  1. Environmental Impacts On Buildings
  2. Chemicals
  3. Building Surrounds
  4. Furnishings
  5. Finishes
  6. Pesticides & Alternatives
  7. Managing Interior Environments
  8. Consulting


  • Explain the impact of the macro-environment (location) on health.
  • Explain the impact of building surrounds, including a garden, on the interior environmental conditions.
  • Choose interior furnishings which are not likely to damage human health.
  • Explain the health implications of using different types of finishes, including sealers, paints, preservatives and stains.
  • Explain the health implications of using alternative methods of pest control inside buildings.
  • Plan health conscious management systems of interior environments.

Here are just some of the things you will be doing:

  • Explain how proximity to different bodies of water can affect human health, including: *Sea/Ocean *Freshwater lakes *River *Ground water.
  • Explain how different aspects of prevailing weather patterns may influence house design in different regions, including: *temperature *rainfall *winds *day length.
  • Explain in a summary, how proximity to electromagnetic radiation may impact on health.
  • Explain in a summary, how proximity to different types of pollution can impact on health inside a dwelling.
  • Compare the impact of different garden treatments upon temperature inside buildings, including: -tall trees -lawn -paving -mulched surfaces -climbers on walls.
  • Explain how different garden design decisions can affect ventilation in a house, including: *earth shaping *planting *constructions *water features.
  • Compare the affect different garden components on light inside a building, including: *Plant types *How plants are grouped *Walls *Topography *Pergolas.
  • Explain how the visual characteristics of two different gardens influence the inside environment of a building.
  • Analyse two different gardens for the impact they have on buildings they surround.
  • Compare health aspects of different materials used for furnishings including: -metals -plastics -timbers -upholstery -curtains.
  • Compare health aspects of different floor coverings including: -tiles -carpets -vinyl -cork -slate -timber.
  • Explain health aspects of different electrical appliances including: -televisions -computers -refrigerators -microwaves -heaters -air conditioners -ovens.
  • Evaluate the furnishings in a building inspected by the learner, to determine recommended changes to improve building habitability.
  • Compare the health affects of different types of finishes including: sealers, paints, stains, preservatives and varnishes.
  • Compile a resource directory of ten sources of healthy alternatives to traditional finishes.
  • Describe the characteristics of three different specific products which are healthy alternatives to traditional paints and finishes.
  • Explain the toxic affects of ten different pesticides commonly used in buildings, both during and after construction.
  • List alternative "healthier" methods of controlling pests in buildings, including: -rodents -ants -termites -flies -cockroaches.
  • Develop a detailed pest control strategy for a building, in the learners locality, which includes: -structural treatments during and post construction -preventative measures for anticipated problems -eradication measures for existing problems.
  • Explain issues of building usage which can impact on health with respect to different factors including: -number of people -electricity -windows and doors -cooking -smoking -curtains -hygiene.
  • Analyse the way two specific buildings including a home and a workplace are used; to determine health risk factors in that use.
  • Recommend guidelines to the way in which different buildings, including an office, and a workplace, are used, to minimise negative impacts upon health.


Why Study This Course?

This course provides students with insight into the many ways that buildings can impact upon the health of their occupants.

Here the emphasis is on the environment rather than the materials used to construct the buildings, which is the focus of our Healthy Buildings I course.

Use what you learn here and apply it to your home, you workplace, or other buildings. Make a difference to your own health and that of others.

This course can enhance existing building and design knowledge or serve as a foundation towards other studies and higher level qualifications.

Use your knowledge in roles which entail the planning, design and construction of buildings as well as inspections of existing buildings for health risks.