Architectural Charter for Healthy Indoor Air

The Architectural Institute of Japan (AIJ) was founded in 1886. Since then it has promoted the advancement and development of science, technology and art concerning architecture, through the mutual collaboration of its members. AIJ recognizes that "Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)" especially with respect to residential buildings has become a social problem in Japan Buildings themselves may have a considerable effect on health problems. We hereby propose the "Architectural Charter for Healthy Indoor Air" and make sincere efforts to provide good indoor air quality to prevent SBS.

15 May 2002
Architectural Institute of Japan

The World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe published THE RIGHT TO HEALTHY INDOOR AIR in May 2000. In this statement they declare that under the principle of the human right to health, everyone has the right to breathe healthy indoor air. In modern life people spend more than 90% of their time indoors. We have to give as much consideration to the kind of contaminants that exist in the air we breath as well as we do concerning food and drinking water. Building materials, adhesives, paints, furniture and many other elements may represent the largest source of indoor air pollution. We are now facing serious new health problems. Not only Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), but also other chemicals such as anti-termite as well as particle matter, fungi, house dust mites, and many substances having the possibility to cause health problems. The design of sustainable buildings and provision of healthy indoor air are fundamental issues concerning the future of human beings.

We recognize that indoor air quality is an important determinant of health and well-being. Based on this recognition we will promote the following activities:

  1. Provision of information concerning potentially harmful exposure in buildings and the importance of healthy indoor air (Information)

  2. Accounting for any harm to health and/or welfare resulting from unhealthy buildings (Accountability)

  3. Support for the preparation of both AIJ and government standards regarding indoor air quality (Academic Standards)

  4. Development of low emission building materials and safe construction methods (Safe Building Materials and Construction Methods)

  5. Proposing effective ventilation and air cleaning systems while providing design support (Adequate Ventilation)

  6. Establishment of a principle in order to construct buildings, which minimize health risk caused by contaminated substances (Minimization of Health Risk)

  7. Providing guidance for life style while controlling the contamination of indoor air (Operation and Maintenance)

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