Biophilic design is a design approach that focuses on incorporating natural elements into the built environment to improve human well-being and productivity. Studies have shown that humans have an innate connection to nature and when this connection is served in nature and built environments, it can negatively impact our health and happiness. Biophilic design aims to bridge this gap by creating spaces that mimic the natural world. In this page, we will explore what biophilic design is, its benefits, design elements, case studies, practical tips, and resources.
What is Biophilic Design?
Biophilic design is a design approach that emphasizes the connection between humans and nature. It seeks to create spaces that are designed to mimic the natural world in order to improve human well-being and productivity. Biophilic design can encompass many different elements, including natural light, plants and greenery, natural materials, water features, views of nature, biomimicry, natural ventilation, and biophilic patterns and textures. Biophilic design has been shown to have numerous benefits for human health, including reducing stress, improving cognitive function, and increasing creativity and productivity.
Glossary of Biophilic Terms
In this resource, Raimondi delves into the world of biophilic design and sustainability, exploring the concepts and terms associated with these practices. The post features the ultimate glossary of biophilic design terms, providing a comprehensive understanding of the principles and patterns associated with biophilic design. Additionally, the post discusses the significance of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) in architecture and design and highlights the importance of human-centered design, employee retention, productivity, and reduced absenteeism in creating thriving habitats. The post concludes with a discussion of BREEAM certification and the importance of incorporating nature into urban environments.
Biophilic Design Elements
Biophilic design can be incorporated in many ways, and there are several key elements to consider when designing a biophilic space. Natural light is an important element, as it provides a connection to the outdoors and can positively impact mood and well-being. Plants and greenery are another crucial element, as they can help purify the air and provide a calming and relaxing atmosphere. Natural materials such as wood and stone can also be used to create a sense of warmth and comfort. Water features, views of nature, biomimicry, natural ventilation, and biophilic patterns and textures are all additional elements that can be incorporated to enhance the biophilic experience.
Biophilic Design Tips
Incorporating biophilic design into a space can be done in a variety of ways, and there are many practical tips to consider. For example, maximizing natural light by using large windows or skylights can help create a sense of openness and connection to the outdoors. Using plants and greenery strategically throughout a space can help purify the air and create a calming atmosphere. Choosing natural materials like wood or stone for flooring, walls, or furniture can add warmth and a sense of comfort. Creating views of nature through windows or other design elements can provide a sense of openness and peace. Biophilic patterns and textures can also be used to create a sense of naturalness and depth.
ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance)
is a set of criteria used to evaluate a company’s performance in terms of its impact on the environment, society, and governance. Biophilic design, on the other hand, is an approach to architecture and design that incorporates natural elements, such as plants and natural light, into the built environment. The principles of biophilic design along with the ESG criteria help to reduce a company’s environmental impact by incorporating sustainable materials and practices, and also promotes social well-being by creating spaces that are conducive to mental and physical health. Furthermore, biophilic design can support good governance by creating an inclusive and collaborative workplace culture that values employees’ well-being and fosters a sense of community. Overall, biophilic design provides an innovative and holistic approach to addressing ESG concerns, helping companies to build spaces that not only benefit the environment but also contribute to the well-being of employees and society at large.
Biomimicry is a concept that involves the imitation of nature to create innovative and sustainable design solutions. In biophilic design, biomimicry can be used to incorporate natural patterns, forms, and functions into the built environment. For example, the shape of leaves can inspire the design of ventilation systems, while the structure of coral reefs can inform the design of building facades to promote natural lighting and ventilation. By using biomimicry in biophilic design, designers can create spaces that not only mimic the beauty of nature but also utilize its efficiency and sustainability. Furthermore, biomimicry in biophilic design can contribute to the well-being of building occupants, as it can create a sense of connection and harmony with the natural environment, promoting a healthier and more productive indoor environment.
Biophilic Case Studies
There are many real-world examples of biophilic design in action, from residential buildings to commercial offices, educational facilities, healthcare facilities, retail spaces, and hospitality spaces. For instance, Amazon’s Spheres in Seattle is a unique office building that is filled with over 40,000 plants and trees, creating a lush and calming workspace. Another example is the Bosco Verticale in Milan, Italy, which is a pair of residential towers covered in over 900 trees and thousands of shrubs, creating a vertical forest.
Biophilic Design Resources
- The Biophilic Design Initiative: This website provides information about the Biophilic Design Initiative, a program aimed at increasing the adoption of biophilic design practices. It offers a range of resources, including case studies, research papers, and design guidelines.
- Terrapin Bright Green: Terrapin Bright Green is a consulting and strategic planning firm that specializes in biophilic design. Their website offers a variety of resources, including white papers, case studies, and design guidelines.
- The International Living Future Institute: The International Living Future Institute is a non-profit organization that promotes the adoption of regenerative design practices, including biophilic design. Their website provides resources for professionals, including case studies, certification programs, and educational resources.
- The Biophilic Cities Network: The Biophilic Cities Network is a global network of cities that are committed to promoting biophilic design practices. Their website provides resources for city planners and designers, including case studies, design guidelines, and educational resources.
- The Biophilic Institute: The Biophilic Institute is a non-profit organization that promotes the adoption of biophilic design practices in schools and other educational settings. Their website offers resources for educators, including research papers, design guidelines, and case studies.
- The Living Future Conference: The Living Future Conference is an annual event that brings together professionals in the fields of architecture, design, and sustainability to discuss biophilic design and other regenerative design practices. The conference offers educational sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities.
- The Biophilic Design Journal: The Biophilic Design Journal is a peer-reviewed publication that focuses on biophilic design research and practice. The journal features articles on a range of topics, including case studies, design guidelines, and research studies.
Q & A
Q: Why is biophilic design important?
A: Biophilic design is essential because it increases our connectivity to the natural environment within the spaces we inhabit. This connection results in a range of benefits, including increased productivity, creativity, and mental health, and decreased depression and anxiety.
Q: What are the key elements of biophilic design?
A: Biophilic design integrates direct and indirect nature, space and place conditions, and urban futures, societal structures, and corporate spaces. By doing so, it creates a more people-first environment that incorporates natural elements like plants and moss walls and adheres to standards such as the WELL Building Standard®.
Q: What are some examples of designs that don’t incorporate biophilic elements?
A: Corporate offices lacking a connection to the natural environment and without natural elements such as plants and moss walls are examples of designs that don’t incorporate biophilic elements.
Q: How can biophilic designs be implemented in different environments and communities?
A: By taking a biophilic approach, we can create a more people-centered environment that’s tailored to the unique needs of each space. This involves designing green plant arrangements, selecting suitable containers and seasonal plants, and providing maintenance throughout the installation.
Q: Has the pandemic increased interest in biophilic designs?
A: The pandemic has led to a surge in interest in biophilic design as employers and employees seek ways to create a more welcoming and health-focused office environment. Clients are looking for designs that reduce fatigue, increase productivity, and promote employee retention.
Q: Are clients typically requesting biophilic designs or is it something you suggest?
A: Most clients ask for biophilic designs, while some already have natural elements in their space and are looking to enhance the experience.
Q: How can biophilic designs be created on a budget?
A: There are many options available when it comes to installing and maintaining biophilic designs. Based on the client’s budget, we make recommendations that range from green plant designs to green walls and moss walls.
Q: What advice would you give to other landscape companies about creating biophilic designs?
A: Biophilic design is no longer an approach of the future — it’s an essential part of creating groundbreaking spaces. Landscape companies should become experienced in biophilic design to meet the growing demand for more sustainable and people-centered environments.
Incorporating biophilic design into the built environment has numerous benefits for both human health and productivity. By bringing elements of nature into indoor spaces, we can create a more calming, relaxing, and productive environment that can enhance our overall well-being. Biophilic design is not just a trend, but a movement that is gaining momentum in the design world, and it is quickly becoming an essential consideration in modern architecture and interior design. We hope this page has inspired you to explore biophilic design further and consider incorporating its principles into your own design projects. Remember, by connecting people with nature, we can create healthier and happier environments for everyone.
Contact us today if you would like to discuss Biophilic Design and how it can be used to improve your facility!