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Edifice Complex: An Anatomy of Sick Building Syndrome Control and Abatement

The complexity of modern buildings presents significant unmet challenges to designers, operators and investigators. Problems other than air quality can cause or exacerbate the symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome. Psychological and social as well as physical and biological factors interact to create occupant physiological and health responses to building environments. Yet detailed, comprehensive investigations of building-associated outbreaks are infrequent due to the resources and personnel required to conduct them.

Control and abatement of SBS is dependent upon reliable and useful investigation and diagnosis. An understanding of the nature and causes of SBS is essential to such investigations and diagnoses. Yet no clear understanding of SBS and no widely accepted definition of SBS exists. In fact authorities in the field use differing definitions or confusing terms which do not increase understanding of the phenomenon. And the most widely-accepted definition includes the absence of identified causes, but even those who present this definition fail to use it consistently.


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