Biophilic Design: Bettering Your Business by Investing in Nature

Take a look at your surroundings. Do you see plants, natural lighting/ventilation, or natural geometry in the architecture? According to the National Human Activity Pattern Survey (or NHAPS) from UC Berkeley, we spend approximately 90% of our lives inside and a third of that time inside our offices, wishing we were outdoors.

We’re programmed to appreciate nature — no wonder we yearn to be outside. Sensing this, designers are using science to integrate the forms and colors of nature into our living spaces. Called “biophilic design,” this concept adds more than greenery and natural light to a workspace. Harmful compounds are absorbed by a couple plantings while melatonin levels are boosted by sunrays from a large window, thus regulating sleep-cycles. Promoting biophilic design is good for business. The following are other ways it can help our businesses in the long-run:

1. Staff Retention
British design experts Peldon Rose found “maintaining and improving the office environment boosts feelings of loyalty in 53% of workers.” Doing so demonstrates a care for employees and their work space ing conditions. Which in turn fosters a sense of loyalty and belonging. By improving lighting and adding greenery to the work environment we can make our offices appealing on a human, sensory level.

2. Branding
Impressions are formed in less than a second. so it’s important to express our mission and goals in our physical space. If we represent sustainability and well-being, why not use natural or recyclable materials?

Incorporating biophilic design can require complex planning and execution. But it can also be as simple as buying potted plants for the lobby or removing the window curtains. So if you are discontent with how little of the outdoors is in your space, start small with paint, plants, and light. It could very well help you, your workforce, and your business.

For more context, check out Autodesk HQ and Rock Chapel Marine — two Tocci projects featuring elements of biophilic design.

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