Can the WELLNESS of our BUILDINGS determine our healthiest lives?

I believe it can.  I believe that ideally our homes and workplaces should not just cause no harm to our health, but they should support and enhance our health, well-being, productivity and enjoyment of life. In the case of our homes, they should also be sanctuaries where we can rest and renew. BUILDING WELLNESS can be the answer to creating our healthiest lives.



My Story

Kathryn Woods, Clinincal Nutritionist Northern NSW

I'm a qualified Nutritionist, Building Biologist and Feng Shui practitioner located in Northern NSW and practising across NSW and SE QLD.  I'm passionate about helping people improve their health and create positive change in their lives, although I haven’t always had this kind of focus on my health.  I've always had issues around allergies and sensitivities which at times were quite debilitating.  I spent many years working in the crazy world of advertising and the lifestyle of working long hours and stress didn't help with my allergies.  There came a time when I did realise I was burnt out from years of stress, and spending my days (and often nights) in unhealthy buildings that affected my allergies and overall health, and I gradually started to understand the impact of this lifestyle and stress on my health.  I was able to improve my allergy symptoms, however, the burnout got worse.  The final straw was finding myself working at an organisation with a toxic work culture that didn't reflect my values.  I was already studying Nutrition part-time, and I decided to leave my work so I could focus on my studies and ultimately start a life-changing journey.


Changing my nutrition many years ago helped enormously with my health, and led to my interest in how eating the right foods for our individual needs can improve our wellbeing.  While studying to become a Nutritionist and doing my clinic hours, I noticed that indoor environments could also have a profound effect on people's health.  For example, I noticed people experiencing chronic fatigue symptoms at home but not when they’re away from their homes. I now know their health can be attributed to or exacerbated by many things environmentally including Electromagnetic Frequencies (EMF’s), Chemicals and Mould.  These people often suffer long-term due to not being able to uncover everything in their diet, lifestyle and environments that are triggering symptoms. Given this understanding of indoor environmental health and that we spend 90% of our lives indoors, made me consider whether optimum health could be found in making changes to our homes and workplaces.  I now know it can be, and I later studied Building Biology. 


A Building Biologist is concerned with indoor environmental health and investigates health hazards in the built environment.

Building Biology is a scientifically evidence-based practice of assessing and testing to determine the relationship between occupants' health and the health of the built environment (homes, workplaces, schools).  Building Biologists are professionals trained in identifying health hazards in buildings related to indoor air quality, mould, electromagnetic fields, water quality, building materials and other products we bring into the home and workplace. Testing and measurement are done using specialised equipment that can determine things such as if there is moisture in building materials that could promote the growth of mould.   Following an assessment a  Building Biologist will educate clients about health problems indoor hazards could cause and offer simple solutions to create the healthiest indoor environment, with a particular focus on anything that could contribute to existing health problems. Most importantly they empower people to make positive changes around their health.

Symptoms associated with indoor toxins include allergies, asthma, recurring colds, respiratory problems, skin rashes, headaches, fatigue, sleep problems and other neuro-system problems. There’s growing evidence of association with fertility problems, thyroid dysfunction, autism, heart disease and some cancers.  Children are especially vulnerable to indoor environments due to their developmental stages, and there’s been a huge increase in recent years of childhood allergies, asthma and many other childhood problems.

Developing Building Wellness


As a nutritional and environmental health practitioner, I’ve now heard too many people say that their symptoms improve or disappear when they’re away from their home or workplace for there not to be something in the impact a building can have on our health.  Given on average we spend 90% of our time indoors (The National Human Activity Pattern Survey), what happens inside buildings and how it impacts our health is critical.  It’s not just about the physical environment, but also our behaviours in homes and workplaces including what we eat, how food is prepared and stored, products and furnishings we choose to bring into the building, and ease of access to green spaces and natural environments.

Modern built environments in particular are having an increasingly negative impact on our health including sedentary lifestyles, poor diets, stress, social isolation, environmental toxins, and lack of connection to nature amongst other problems.  As home, work and play become more blurred, and Building Biology gains more awareness, homes and workplaces will hopefully be seen as an investment in our health, not just a financial investment.

I’ve developed a unique framework for working with people by combining the two areas of Building Biology and Nutrition to create holistically healthy homes and workplaces, I call it Building Wellness. This approach to health can have a powerful impact, even with just a few simple changes.  Going into people's homes and workplaces allows me to identify signs of indoor hazards.  As a qualified nutritionist, I understand human physiology and biochemistry, and I’m able to connect a person's current and historical health with potential health hazards in a building that could be causing their problems. I observe how people behave in these environments and use specialised equipment to measure things like air quality. Three pillars cover all elements of Building Wellness in creating whole-life health.

Read more about Building Wellness here.


All Building Biology auditing and testing methods are done in line with international building biology standards (view here) and the 25 principles for Building Biology, which you can read about here.



Kathryn is a qualified Building Biologist with accreditation from the Australian College of Environmental Studies and a member of the Australasian Society of Building Biologists.  Kathryn is also a qualified Nutritionist and a member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society. As a Nutritionist Kathryn chose to become a Building Biologist to have a deeper understanding and look at underlying causes for health problems more holistically.  With her unique combination of qualifications, Kathryn developed the Building Wellness framework which uses Building Biology, Nutrition and other behavioral and lifestyle factors in buildings that are combined to achieve optimal whole-life health.

My Qualifications and Industry Registrations:

  • Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine, Australasian College of Natural Therapies
  • Member of The Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
  • Advanced Diploma of Building Biology, Australian College of Environmental Studies
  • Member of The Australasian Society of Building Biologists
  • Certificate IV in Feng Shui, Australian College of Environmental Studies

Would You Like to Work With Me?