Biophilic Design

22 February 2024

How to incorporate biophilic design into your home?

Biophilic design connects the interior with the exterior by harnessing nature. Biophilia enhances a connection to nature within the home using natural elements, plants, and views out through a window to the verdant green, all of which are proven to enhance productivity and boost wellbeing.

Statistics show a 15% increase in the wellbeing of employees in offices that incorporate biophilia.  Wellbeing in the home is equally vital, particularly in areas where green space is limited. 

wooden bookshelf with house plants

Five key biophilic design elements

There are five key elements to consider when striving to achieve a biophilic design:

  2. Natural light
  3. Plants
  4. Natural-inspired materials
  5. Fabricated elements that mimick nature
  6. This article will offer insight into each of these elements and explore how best to implement them.

This article will offer insight into each of these elements and explore how best to implement them.

Professor Emeritus Derek Clements-Croome shared the Flourish model for workplace and home incorporating biophilic design

A room with a view

Should you be lucky enough to live in a rural location, or have a home with garden views forging a strong connection with the outdoor environment through minimally framed glazing. Oversized glazing brings with it an abundance of benefits, including strengthening the connection to garden spaces. Using slim framed sliding doors from IQ Glass gives you a flush threshold, for seamless travel between the two environments.

Highly glazed homes create brightly lit spaces and boast uninterrupted views that are perfect for productivity. If dedicated wellness spaces are created within a home, these will always be highly glazed areas, often with floor to ceiling glass, for an indoor-outdoor style of living.

woman doing yoga in highly glazed studio space

Natural light is already an extremely desirable factor when buying or building a home, making any property more desirable. It is arguably the most crucial part of biophilic design, being the number one factor that merges indoor and outdoor spaces. Using slim framed systems and large elevations of glass ensures the maximum amount of natural light can be gained throughout internal living spaces.

A rising trend for the last few years is house plants. Proven to enhance the quality of life as well as the air quality. House plants are little responsibility with big reward, perfect for creating biophilic environments and bringing nature inside. In residential developments, wintergardens are often used as amenity space. This popular design means you can have your own garden without being outside. There are plenty of modern ways to incorporate a wintergarden, including a retractable glass roof, for optional outside space in the warmer months and a flexible approach.

bedroom with natural wood wall paneling and house plants

Another element that goes into biophilic design is materials. Although we may not consider this at first glance, building materials and furniture choices can have a huge impact on how connected to nature we feel. In some cases, people like to mimic outdoor environments with subtle design choices. This could take the form of wall panelling in the style of a beehive – mimicking a naturally occurring design.

Using natural wood or stone on the exterior as well as throughout makes us feel better connected to nature. When considering the views from highly glazed window or door systems, wooden cladding can be incorporated to offer a form of solar shading in keeping with biophilia. The new Avino Atelier timber showroom showcases some of the most exquisite timber and glazing systems engineered to Passive House standards. 

Avino - timber in architecture embraces biophilic qualities with its new Atelier showroom

Last of the five key elements is fabricated or simulated elements. This could be the implementation of a spiral staircase or curved wall that simply emulates the natural shapes found in nature.  Textured nature-inspired wallpaper designs can be used for a statement wall that offers a tactile quality. These types of elements can further enhance the connection to nature and increase feelings of positivity. art choices and furniture can be selected to reflect outdoor environments, even in the heart of the home. Opting for wood interior features can make your inside space feel more connected to the outdoors and faux fur accents can be used to add texture as you would find in nature.

Privacy is another consideration when merging exterior and interior spaces.  Large elevations of glazing can be achieved with completely concealed blind systems. Designed to offer flexible blind solutions for any shape or size of glass, blinds, by Grants Blinds can even be fully automated or integrated within a smart home system.

floor to ceiling sliding glass doors in a minimalist living room

When natural light is not available in the evenings or during winter, artificial LED lighting has evolved producing accurate colour temperatures that reflect natural light throughout the day. Intelligent lighting systems from IndigoZest can mimic natural patterns of light to align with our biological systems. Programming can now tap into enhanced productivity using LED lighting to achieve the right colour temperature all day long. 

If you’re thinking about incorporating biophilic design in your next project or want to hear how our tenants can offer advice and guidance to achieve this, simply get in touch with us. We are always on hand to discuss ideas and offer design advice.

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