Bau-Biologie® & Ecology


In North Africa in 1980 that changed the course of his life and career.

As a seasoned architect, with a Dipl.Ing. degree from the Technical University of Berlin, and a Master’s in Tropical Studies from the London School of Architecture, Helmut unearthed the solution by examining historical local homes, some of which dated back 4,000 years, and found they used clay as their basic building material and utilized covered walkways for shading and ventilation.

This eye-opening experience led Helmut beyond his career as a modernist architect to embrace the precepts of Bau-biologie. He began his studies under Dr. Anton Schneider at the Institut für Baubiologie + Oekologei (IBN), and never returned to his “conventional” architecture practice.

Helmut moved to the United Kingdom, where he established the English Institute of Bau-biologie, personally translating from German into English the twenty-three IBN course packs that became the IBE Correspondence Course for training new Building Biologists.

He relocated to the United States in 1987, founding the International Institute for Bau-Biologie & Ecology, in Clearwater, Florida, which serves all of North America, as well as other English speaking and Latin American countries.

Biologie helmut

The Visionary Life of Helmut Ziehe

25 Principles of Bau-Biologie®

  1. Site buildings on geologically undisturbed land.
  2. Residential homes are best located away from industrial centers and main traffic routes.
  3. Housing shall be developed in a decentralized and loose manner interlaced with sufficient green space.
  4. Housing and developments shall be personalized, in harmony with nature, fit for human habitation and family oriented.
  5. Use natural and unadulterated building materials.
  6. Use wall, floor, and ceiling materials that allow air diffusion and are hygroscopic.
  7. Indoor air humidity shall be regulated naturally.
  8. Filter and neutralize air pollutants.
  9. An appropriate balance of thermal insulation and heat retention is needed.
  10. The air and surface temperatures of a given room need to be optimized.
  11. Use radiant heat and as much passive solar heat as possible for the heating system.
  12. The total moisture content of a new building shall be low and dry out quickly.
  13. A building shall have a pleasant or neutral smell.
  14. Light, lighting, and color shall be in harmony with natural conditions.
  15. Protective measures against noise pollution as well as infrasonic and ultrasonic vibrations need to be human oriented.
  16. Use building materials with little or preferably no radioactivity.
  17. Maintain the natural balance of atmospheric electricity and ion concentration.
  18. The Earth’s natural magnetic field shall not be altered or distorted.
  19. Eliminate or reduce man-made electromagnetic radiation (EMR) as much as possible.
  20. Cosmic and terrestrial radiation is essential and shall be interfered with as little as possible.
  21. Interior and furniture design shall be based upon physiological findings.
  22. Harmonic measures, proportions, and shapes need to be taken into consideration.
  23. Produce, install, and dispose of building materials in a way that does not contribute to environmental pollution and high energy costs.
  24. Building activities shall not contribute to the exploitation of nonrenewable and rare resources.
  25. Building activities shall not cause a rise in social and medical costs.