What is Biophilic Design?
A recent wave, known as biophilic design, has shifted how people design their space. But what exactly is biophilic design? To understand why biophilic design has grown in popularity, you must first know what biophilia means. The Latin translation for biophilia is “love of life and living systems. Stemming from this, biophilia, as we know, is the intrinsic connection humans have with nature and natural processes. Biophilic design utilizes plants, views of nature, natural light, water and airflow, and other natural elements to develop that natural connection to the architectural design and space planning.
Why is Biophilic Design Important?
The way interior space is being designed has changed, especially in recent years. Whether it is a home or commercial space, plants and other biophilic elements are seen all over. However, what makes biophilic design a lasting design concept rather than just a quirky trend? Biophilic design connects humans with a natural environment, and this connection increases environmental and human wellbeing.
The workplace can be an extremely stressful environment, even if you work remotely! These stressful environments have been linked to an increase in health issues such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and a decline in mental health, along with other health concerns. Employee burnout is another rising issue in the workplace. Due to these health factors weighing on people in the workplace, employers have a duty to establish a healthy and productive environment.
Ambiance / Environment
If you are looking for a way to liven up your space, plants are a great start! Biophilic design with living plants create relaxing and peaceful environment that can enhance the aesthetic of a space. Restaurants and hotels use living plants to create an experience that guests are sure to remember. Beyond adding life to otherwise boring and empty spaces, living plants combat the “Sick Building Syndrome” by reducing the carbon dioxide levels and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. Biophilic elements can also act as added privacy and reduce noise pollution. This creates a healthy environment that tenants and guests are sure to enjoy.
Employee Productivity & Morale
Multiple studies have concluded that incorporating living plants and biophilic design in the workplace can reduce mental fatigue and hypertension, while also improving attentiveness and productivity. Additionally, other sources state that employees have a heightened sense of calmness and better overall wellbeing when living plants and/or windows with views of nature are present. The combination of these positive factors leads to a boost in employee morale, an increase in creativity and productivity, and a decease in absenteeism. In a study from Green Plants for Green Buildings, plants can:
- Increase productivity by 14%
- Increase creativity by 15%
- Decrease absenteeism by 12%
- Reduce feelings of anger by 44%
- Reduce fatigue by 38%
- Reduce anxiety levels by 37%
Indoor Plantscapes & Building Marketability
When hotels have a lush, tropical interior awaiting their guests, the first impression is already set. Guests enter with a sense of amazement that enhances the overall stay, rather than just a normal place to stay that will not make a memory. Have a themed restaurant? Restaurants that incorporate plantscapes into their space have related results when it comes to new clientele and returning guests. Studies have been done on various industries and how plantscapes can increase marketability and profits; the following is the corresponding data:
- Hotel guests are willing to pay up to 23% more for room that feature biophilic elements or views.
- Healthcare patients have been known to recover quicker. When biophilic elements are present, post-operative recovery time can decrease by 8.5% and pain medication reduced by up to 22%.
- Educational spaces have shown learning rates increase by 20-25%’ higher test results, attendance, and concentration levels.