What is biophilic design?

Humans have an innate connection to nature. Unsurprisingly, we feel our best when surrounded by natural elements such as sunlight, fresh air, and greenery. Biophilic design takes the connection created by plantscaping services to the next level. But wait, what is biophilic design?

Biophilic design is an approach to architecture and interior design that enhances the connection between humans and nature. It achieves this by incorporating natural elements such as plants, water, and sunlight into buildings and creating spaces that mimic natural patterns and environments.

What are the principles of biophilic design?

Biophilic design principles are split into three categories: nature of space, nature in space, and natural analogs.

Nature in space refers to the direct presence of nature within a space. It includes plants, water features, natural light, and fresh air. These principles often emphasize the importance of multi-sensory interactions with nature, such as the sound of water or the feeling of a natural texture.

Nature of space refers to the spatial and sensory qualities of space that evoke a connection to nature. For example, a space may mimic a natural environment, such as a forest or beach, or incorporate natural patterns and materials, such as wood grain or a rock formation.

Natural analogs use materials, patterns, and processes found in nature but aren’t necessarily derived directly from natural elements. For example, a building may be designed to optimize natural light and ventilation or to use sustainable materials that mimic the look and feel of natural materials.

Although seemingly broad, these three principles can be used together or individually to form a connection with nature in non-natural spaces.

How can biophilic design be implemented?

Biophilic design principles can be implemented in various ways including:

  • Fresh air: Aside from opening windows to let in the fresh air and listening to the sound of nature,image of biophilic design consider using air-purifying plants to help clean the air and create a healthier environment.
  • Maximizing natural light: Maximize natural light in your space by repositioning furniture, curtains, and blinds. You can also use reflective surfaces to bounce light around a space or use diffused lighting to create a soft, natural glow.
  • Incorporating plants: Add potted plants, green walls, hanging plants, or moss art to bring nature into a space in a unique and visually appealing way.
  • Using natural materials: Wood and stone are great natural materials, but they aren’t the only ones. You can also use cork, bamboo, or natural fibers to create a sense of connection to the natural world. You can add them to your space through kitchen worktops, home décor, furniture, floors, and home décor.
  • Embracing shapes of nature: Nature is perfectly imperfect and is denoted by soft edges and curves contrasting right angles and straight lines. The goal is to create a sense of movement and flow reminiscent of natural environments.
  • Sound of water: Water sounds are soothing, so if you have a garden add a small pond or even build a small fountain indoors. If that’s too much, recordings of birdsong or the sound of a babbling brook can do.
  • Colors of nature: Use natural colors such as greens, browns, and blues. Since these are bold colors, they do well on accent walls. It could be plain or a less permanent option like wallpaper.
  • Adding a piece of art: Create a gallery on your wall showcasing a forest, wildflowers, singing birds, the rising or setting sun, or a framed living wall.

What are the benefits of biophilic design?

This design philosophy has been gaining popularity due to its numerous benefits. Here are some of the advantages of biophilic design:

  • Reduced stress levels: Incorporating natural elements such as plants, water, and natural light has a calming effect on people, reducing stress levels and promoting relaxation.
  • Improved health: Biophilic design has been linked to improved physical health. Studies show that exposure to natural elements can lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of asthma and allergies.
  • Increased productivity: Natural environments promote mental clarity and improve focus. Consequently, improving productivity, creativity, and innovativeness.
  • Increased employee engagement: Biophilic design can also increase employee engagement and job satisfaction by creating a more pleasant and stimulating work environment. This, in turn, can lead to lower turnover rates and higher employee retention.
  • Reduced absenteeism: By promoting physical and mental well-being, biophilic design can also help to reduce absenteeism due to illness and stress-related issues.
  • Mental restoration & reduced fatigue: Incorporating natural elements has been found to have therapeutic properties that help reduce mental fatigue and enhance cognitive function.

What are the benefits of biophilic design in the environment?

Biophilic design is vital for living buildings and environments. Using green spaces, plants, water features, and natural materials has many benefits, including reducing a development’s carbon footprint and regulating building temperatures.

Other benefits include:

  • Improved air quality: Plants and natural materials incorporated into the design help improve indoor and outdoor air quality. Plants absorb carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), making the air cleaner and healthier.
  • Increased biodiversity: By building green spaces, you help support biodiversity in urban environments. The presence of plants and trees can provide habitat and food for birds, insects, and other wildlife, promoting a healthier and more diverse ecosystem.
  • Reduced urban heat island effect: The urban heat island effect is a phenomenon where urban areas are significantly warmer than surrounding rural areas due to the heat absorption by buildings and pavements. Biophilic design can help mitigate this effect by incorporating green roofs and walls, parks, and other green spaces that provide shade and cooling.

Is it sustainable?

Biophilic design is sustainable since it incorporates natural elements into the built environment. While it has multiple environmental benefits, the natural processes that enhance building performance are not always recognized as biophilic design.

One of the primary ways that biophilic design promotes sustainability is through the use of natural materials and recycled materials. This reduces the need for new materials and helps to conserve natural resources.

Another way that biophilic design promotes sustainability is by utilizing natural processes to enhance building performance. For example, using natural ventilation, shading, and daylighting can reduce the need for energy-intensive cooling and lighting systems. Similarly, incorporating water features and vegetation can help regulate building temperatures and improve air quality.

Get biophilic design from the best

Adding plants to your space is a great first step to building a biophilic environment. We offer interior plantscaping and exterior commercial landscaping services and can help you on your journey to create a biophilic environment for your space.

District Green Plants have the professionals and training to achieve this with exemplary results. Call us today at (703) 967-1827 for a consultation.

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