Biophilic Architecture – A Concept of Sustainable Architecture
Around 54% of the world’s population today reside in urban settings. This is estimated to rise to a staggering 66% by the end of 2050, which amounts to nearly 2/3rd of the total world population.
Spending time within the four walls of a premise is nothing but merely the result of our unhealthy lifestyles. This is minimizing interaction with quality nature affecting our well-being and happiness, and causing psychological and physiological damage.
This is where Biophilic Design makes its presence felt. Biophilic Design is an environmentally conscious and sustainable design that integrates nature and natural elements, materials, and forms into architecture and interiors. Simply put, it brings elements of the outdoors into the interior environment.
Research studies have concluded that carefully planned workspace or home or any urban setting, with sufficient access to nature, has a tremendous impact on health, creativity, productivity, and the overall environment. People feel better, live better, and perform better. For instance, workplaces see lower sickness rates and higher productivity. A survey by ‘HUMAN SPACES’ concluded that workers reported feeling 15% more creative and 15% more productive when their workspaces made optimum use of biophilic elements in their interior settings.
GROWING FOOTPRINTS OF BIOPHILIC DESIGN
Today, biophilic design’s influence goes beyond the traditional homes and offices. Its footprints have touched the healthcare, retail, hospitality, and even the educational sectors.
A recent consumer survey reveals that people spend more money on shopping plazas and retail stories that are light and green. Stores in California that had skylights installed are said to have sales figures increase by 40%. Natural daylight-like appearance apparently not only boosted buying but also helped the stores save on energy costs.
Educational institutions that incorporated biophilic design principles in the US saw a more pleasant environment, higher learning performance, and lower absenteeism and drop-out rates. NCSET (the US National Center) data reveals that students in such institutions classrooms with access to a lot of natural daylight and views of greenery achieved 7-18% better test results and a faster learning ratio of 20-26%.
Medical centers too witnessed tremendous positive results. Patients recovered far quickly when lodged in rooms with plenty of natural daylight and access to nature’s greenery. A good example is of patients given a room with adequate daylight and view of greenery. They are said to have taken 20% less medication than patients lodged in a darker room. Such rooms also entail shorter hospitalization which means lower costs for both hospitals and health insurers.
How far biophilic design has progressed can be estimated from the fact that today its reach extends to entire developments and even cities. As biophilic design principles get widely promoted with newer architectural and interior design ideas, we are likely to see more and more public and private spaces helping us connect to nature. Incorporating nature in spaces will eventually help us to become calmer, more focused, and more contented with how we’re spending our time and spending our lives.
APPLYING BIOPHILIC DESIGN PRINCIPLES
Biophilic architecture is all about the appropriate usage of materials obtained from nature, infusing the forms and patterns of nature into a building. By mimicking and respecting the surrounding ecosystem, it helps architects create spaces that resonate with human’s innate empathy with the natural environment.
When it comes to architectural solutions that are close to nature, there are few better names than Uniworks Designs. A leading architectural firm, Uniworks Designs is known for its intelligent design solutions. Collaborating with clients from day one of a project, Uniworks Designs incorporates biophilic design principles consistently throughout the whole of the project. This has helped meet several clients’ specific goals without in any way tampering with the natural environment.
Biophilic architecture has proven to be a game-changer that has redefined how buildings are designed today the world over. It has helped create environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient buildings by effectively managing and utilizing natural resources.
Good design can greatly influence our physical and mental well-being. Biophilic design is much more than a good design for it can greatly influence our physical and mental well-being. Most importantly, it will also help make our interior spaces and buildings, a little less gray and a lot greener.