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BIOPHILIC DESIGN – THE FUTURE OF SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE

10 Jan 2024 Blog

More than a good feeling. Biophilic design is the future of sustainable architecture. Don’t be fooled into thinking biophilic design is just a ‘feel good’ trend. There are tangible financial, environmental and sustainability benefits of using biophilic design.

Energy Efficiency Benefits

Biophilic design offers several energy efficiency advantages:

Natural Light and Ventilation

Integrating large windows and skylights allows for more natural light, reducing the need for artificial lighting and can be placed to facilitate cross ventilation, reducing cooling systems. According to studies, daylighting can lead to up to 20% energy savings in commercial buildings. The position of the windows can also add to thermal comfort reducing energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Green Roofs and Walls

Green roofs and walls act as natural insulators, reducing the heat island effect and providing additional thermal resistance. Studies have shown that green roofs can decrease energy demand by up to 10%, while green walls can help to reduce indoor temperature fluctuations and improve energy efficiency.

Integration of Renewable Energy Sources

Biophilic design encourages solar panels, wind turbines, or geothermal systems within the building’s aesthetics to help offset the energy demand and further reduce the building’s environmental impact.

Our understanding of the link between nature and human well-being is constantly growing and biophilic design is becoming an essential aspect of sustainable architecture. Why not embrace the best of both worlds by creating energy efficient spaces that preserve the environment and enhance the wellbeing of the occupants.

Health and Financial Values

According to a report by Terrapin Bright Green, implementing biophilic design principles can result in better health outcomes, increased property values, and improved occupant satisfaction.

Health Impacts of Biophilia

Improved Mental Health and Well-being

  • Reduces stress levels and improves cognitive function
  • Increases creativity and productivity
  • Enhances mood and overall happiness

Enhanced Physical Health

  • Reduces blood pressure and heart rate
  • Promotes faster healing and recovery
  • Boosts immune system

Increased Productivity

  • Reduces absenteeism and improves focus
  • Enhances job satisfaction and employee morale
  • Increases overall productivity

These benefits have been backed by numerous studies and research in the field of environmental psychology and design. The presence of nature in our surroundings has a profound impact on our well-being, making biophilic design a valuable solution for our modern lifestyles.

Unleashing the Nature Potential: Biophilic Design for Greener Buildings

Biophilic design aims to bring the natural world indoors, resulting in greener buildings that promote sustainability, health, and happiness.

  • Indoor Plants: Incorporating plants and greenery into indoor spaces improves air quality, reduces stress levels, and boosts productivity. Greenery such as potted plants or living walls can bring life and freshness to indoor spaces. Plants help purify the air and create a connection with nature.
  • Nature-Inspired Materials: Using natural materials like wood, stone, moss walls, and water elements not only creates an aesthetically pleasing environment but also evokes a sense of calm and tranquillity.

The proof is in the studies

Improved Health and Well-being

Studies have shown that exposure to nature and natural elements can have a positive impact on our mental and physical health, leading to reduced stress levels, improved cognitive function, faster healing, and increased overall well-being.

  • Green spaces in offices lead to a 15% increase in productivity and a 6% increase in creativity. (University of Exeter)
  • Access to nature in healthcare facilities can reduce patient recovery time by up to 5%, resulting in significant cost savings. (Terrapin Bright Green)

Increased Sustainability

  • Green roofs can reduce stormwater runoff by up to 65%, reducing strain on drainage systems. (Green Roofs for Healthy Cities)
  • Buildings with biophilic elements can improve energy efficiency by 8-20%, leading to long-term energy savings. (Terrapin Bright Green/sustainability consulting firm)
  • According to studies, incorporating natural light sources can decrease energy usage for lighting by up to 75% in some cases!

Enhanced Productivity and Creativity

  • Offices with views of nature have a 13% higher employee well-being score. (Human Spaces) link to Human Spaces pdf here
  • Exposure to nature in the workplace can increase creativity by 15%. (University of Melbourne)

Air Quality and Ventilation

Indoor air quality has a direct impact on our health and well-being, and poor ventilation can lead to a host of issues, including allergies and respiratory problems. By incorporating elements such as living walls and indoor gardens, biophilic design enhances the air quality by naturally filtering pollutants and improving ventilation. This reduces the need for energy-intensive air purification systems, contributing to overall energy efficiency.

The Future of Design

As the world embraces sustainability and well-being as core values, biophilic design is set to play a significant role in the future of architecture and interior design. Biophilic design has the potential to revolutionise the way we approach energy efficiency in the built environment. By creating spaces that truly connect us with nature, we can reap the benefits of reduced energy consumption, improved well-being, and increased productivity.

As the world increasingly recognises the importance of sustainability and resource conservation, biophilic design is set to play a pivotal role in shaping our future cities and communities.

Related Blog: Sick Building Syndrome

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