“Building biology is the evaluation of health hazards like allergens, toxicants and electromagnetic fields in the built environment, and provides strategies to address exposure and/or source control and abatement”. Nicole Bijlsma.
What is Building Biology?
Building biology is a science that investigates the health hazards in the built environment. This can be anything from chemicals in building materials and household products to lead dust, noxious gases, house dust mites, allergens, mould, electromagnetic fields, drinking water contaminants and geopathic stress. The industry began in Germany in the 1970s in response to the number of sick ‘energy-efficient buildings created to conserve energy costs during the oil embargo. For more information, click HERE.
The nationally accredited 10913NAT Advanced Diploma of Building Biology is the first and only government accredited course of its kind in Australia that provides the knowledge and the skills to work as a professional Building Biologist. The course is a two-year full time / four-year part-time course consisting of eleven subjects (ten core and one elective) that is primarily conducted online (a total of 2,100 hours). Students are trained to identify and address health hazards in the built environment (residential) from mould and electromagnetic fields to allergens and chemicals using the latest technologies. Students are also trained on how to design healthy homes to cater for people with allergies, electromagnetic field and chemical sensitivities. The course content suits the needs of a range of health and allied professionals including general practitioners, naturopaths and nutritionists; building and construction professionals such as surveyors, architects, design consultants, interior designers and builders; trades such as electricians, restorers, mould remediators, pest controllers and anybody seeking a meaningful career.
Demand for building biologists has increased significantly since the Parliamentary Inquiries into Mould (2018), Electromagnetic Radiation (2001) and 5G (2019). In addition, the growing body of evidence associating mould, electromagnetic fields, allergens and toxicants with adverse health effects coupled with greater awareness by clinicians regarding environmental medicine, has significantly increased demand for Building Biology services. Most graduates work in private practice conducting assessments in electromagnetic fields, mould, allergen and chemical testing in residential dwellings, and obtain referrals by aligning themselves with integrative clinicians, health practitioners, mould remediators, realtors and building designers. Some of our graduates have been employed as an expert witnesses in legal disputes (VCAT, supreme court etc) including a landmark court case at the Supreme Court, which resulted in a multi-million dollar payout in favour of the tenant and changes to the Commercial Tenancy Agreements Act for water-damaged buildings.
Funding grants available to eligible students (click the link to determine conditions) include:
- Skills Checkpoint Program for older workers’ (40 years or older). Contact: Busy at Work (13 28 79).
- Regional Skills Program. BHP is offering to fund part or all of the course for citizens living in Bowen Basin and Mackay in Qld, Upper Spencer Gulf and Roxby Downs in SA, the Pilbara and Goldfields region in WA or the Upper Hunter Region in NSW. Conditions apply. Click HERE. email@example.com
- Centrelink (Services Australia). If you are receiving Centrelink payments, you maybe eligible to receive funds for this course via Job Services Provider or Workforce Australia.
Most students are aged between 25 and 60 and do not have a science, health or building background. Whilst candidates are not required to have any formal qualifications or relevant vocational practice to do the course, they are expected to have a high level of language, literacy and numeracy skills, sufficient to analyse and interpret documents, comprehend video lectures, participate in practical workshops, adapt spoken language to a range of clients, analyse laboratory reports, conduct research online, good computer skills to prepare written reports and provide precise meaning which meets audience purpose, use scientific terms and symbols, interpret graphs and tables, and use computer software. Many of these skills will be taught in the course.
This course provides the opportunity for a professional development pathway for current Practitioner members of the Australasian Society of Building Biologists (ASBB).
Field training and COVID
Students are not required to show vaccine passports to enrol in any of our courses and are not required to undergo rapid antigen tests on field day training. However students who test positive to COVID seven days before, or after attending field training, are obligated to notify the college in accordance with our COVID Policy available HERE.
Course structure & timetable
The course consists of eleven subjects: ten core and one elective subject. Eight subjects are available online and can be started at any time of the year. The remaining four subjects involve live zoom sessions plus field training (timetable can be found HERE). All subjects are 12 weeks in duration, and part time students should dedicate between ten and fifteen hours per week in self-directed study time in order to get through a subject’s course materials and assessments. Students may choose to complete a subject more quickly if they dedicate more hours per week in study time as they will have access to all of the course materials from the first day of enrolment. Whilst there is no order in which to enrol in subjects, we recommend students complete first-year subjects before commencing on second-year subjects. Part-time students should plan to complete a minimum of three subjects per year in order to complete the course within the four-year time frame, and full-time students generally complete at least five or six subjects per year and complete the course within two years. Applicants can enrol in one or more subjects.
The course accreditation subject and mapping guide can be found HERE.
FIRST YEAR SUBJECTS (First & Second Year in Part Timers)
|Subject||Core/Elective||Cost||Online /On campus||Unit of Competency||Prerequisite||Timetable|
|Children’s Environmental Health||Core||$895||Online||Download||No||Online|
|Mould Testing||Core||$2,495||Live (zoom) sessions followed by 12 week self directed online training AND field training||Download||No||Timetable|
SECOND YEAR SUBJECTS (Third & Fourth Year in Part Timers)
|Subject||Core/Elective||Cost||Online /On campus||Unit of Competency||Prerequisite||Timetable|
|Design a Healthy Home||Core||$895||Online||Download||Building Materials||Online|
|Sampling Methods||Core||$2,495||Live zoom sessions PLUS 12 week self directed online training||Download||Air Pollution||Timetable|
|Electrobiology||Core||$2,495||Live zoom sessions followed by 12 week self directed online training AND field training||Download||Electricity Fundamentals||Timetable|
|Feng Shui Foundations||Elective||$895||Online||Download||None||Online|
|Geomancy||Elective||$895||Live zoom sessions||Download||None||Online|
|Advanced Mould Testing||Elective||$2,495||Live zoom sessions followed by 12 week self directed online training AND 2 days field training||Download||Mould Testing||Online|
When you are ready to start, complete the online enrolment form HERE, ring the college (1300 889 845) to organise payment, and we’ll provide the login details to get started.
The assessments have been specifically designed to ensure graduates have the necessary templates to work as building biologists. These include questionnaires, checklists, reports and online quizzes (there are no exams). In order to gain the knowledge to work as a competent building biologist, you will be taught the skills to critically think, undertake research of scientific papers, medical journals, and government websites, and reference your work. In order to gain the necessary skills, you will be required to undertake field training.
The total cost is approx. $14,645 (depends on the elective subject chosen). We do not accept upfront payment for the entire course, rather students pay as they enrol in each subject. Online subjects are $895 each and subjects requiring field assessments are $2,495 each (ie Mould Testing, Electrobiology and Sampling Methods). We accept credit card, paypal (4% fee) and direct deposit. Part payment options are available. Funding options described above.
Books, equipment and additional fees
Students need to purchase three books: Healthy Home Healthy Family (Nicole Bijlsma), Electrical Principles (Peter Phillips), and the IICRC S520 & R520-2015 Standard for Professional Mold Remediation. Students enrolled in Sampling Methods subject will be required to provide a $400 refundable deposit to hire the air sampling equipment and pay the courier cost to return the Sampling kit to ACES (refer to Terms and Conditions of hire). The remaining resources are provided by the college and can be downloaded from the internet. The college will provide all equipment during on-campus field training for the electrobiology, air sampling and mould testing subjects, however, students are expected to purchase their own full face mask (P3 respirator) which has been fit tested before attending the Mould Testing field training. Please contact the college for advice on recommended brands.