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The Importance of Biophilic Design in the Workplace

Biophilic design creates a happy, healthy workplace. The importance of Biophilic Design in the workplace has become an important aspect in both the design and as-built environment. This is an ever-evolving concept. The built environment can play havoc with our health and wellbeing. An environment devoid of nature, can create detrimental health effects, which is why building a working environment as close to nature as possible is the key. The term Biophilia refers to the human desire to connect with nature and all things living. This desire originates in our long history as species who evolved in a natural environment, not man made.

Considering many of us spend more than 90% of our time indoors, we have less time to connect with nature. That being said, it’s time to bring some of what mother nature has provided for us, into our indoor spaces.

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What is Biophilic Design?

Biophilic Design is an architectural concept used to incorporate nature and natural elements into our built environment. This concept helps to connect humans and nature. Biophilic Design is derived from the term Biophilia, which means the love of nature. It describes the innate tendency humans feel to seek connections with other life forms and nature as a whole.

Biophilic Design concepts include natural lighting, natural products, outside views and views of botanica. It’s a natural instinct of humans to want to feel connected with the natural environment. Nature provides mental and physical benefits.

How to Incorporate Biophilic Design in the Workplace

The obvious solution to introduce biophilic design into the workplace is through nature. Introducing indoor office plants is an ideal way to do that. Research has shown us that the presence of indoor plants can provide many benefits to our health. They include extensive physical, mental and psychological benefits.

For example:

  • Decrease in stress and negativity levels
  • Increased productivity and creativity
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Improved job satisfaction.

Although indoor plants play a major role in Biophilic Design, there are many other elements that should be considered and this concept emphasises the overall setting of an indoor environment.

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What are the elements of Biophilic Design?

Designers and architects have created many ways to incorporate biophilic design into a building. Ideally, if architects, designers and a qualified indoor plant / green wall specialist could collaborate before the design process, the result would be a building that provides many health benefits for all that occupy that space.

Some of the environmental elements for a biophilic design include:

  1. Views of Nature

We’re not all lucky enough to enjoy a stunning window view of a sweeping landscape, beautiful lake, rugged mountain or golden, sandy beach. However, there are several ways to introduce mother nature with beautiful, healthy indoor plants. With so many options available, there’s always an option to suit most environments. Plants displayed in pots or containers, trough plants or if space is limited, hanging plants. Also, a stunning Green Wall can be a magnificent way to display an assortment of beautiful plants that mother nature provided.

  1. Access to Air Quality & Ventilation

The working environment can often contain many harmful toxins that emit from photocopiers, printers, furniture, carpets, paints etc. ie. Xylene, Benzene and Formaldehyde.

Biophilic Design pays particular attention to fresh air and natural ventilation.

  1. Improved Natural Lighting

Humans thrive on natural lighting and the presence of windows or skylights can allow for natural light to enter the building. Nowadays, many built environments can lack natural lighting.

  1. Natural Shapes and Forms

When stunning window views are not accessible, other elements that resemble natural earthy forms can significantly contribute to Biophilic Design. For example; arches, domes, botanical motifs, egg and oval shapes and shapes that resist right angles and straight lines.

  1. Natural Materials

Using materials obtained from nature where possible; ie. from timber or stone can help to reduce the harmful toxins founds in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)s from man-made products ie. laminates and most carpets.

  1. Calming Colours

Colour schemes can play an important role in our mood. Using calming colours that represent nature can contribute to a calming environment.

  1. Improved Acoustics

The acoustic benefits of having several indoor plants spread evenly throughout a space has been well documented to reduce noise levels inside a building. A stunning green wall will also offer amazing acoustic benefits. Often a work environment can be disruptive and non-productive due to many office areas being open plan layout. Noise can be improved through the process of deflecting sound (when sound waves strike a flexible surface such as plant foliage, the surface with vibrate and the waves change to another energy form or diffusing sound. (when sound waves strike an uneven surface, breaking up the intensity of the sound waves and distributing them throughout a rooms area)

The good news is that biophilic design can also be incorporated into an already built environment:

  1. Introducing indoor office plants
  2. Using calming colours that represent nature. Incorporating elements that relate to nature through colours, textures, patterns or designs.
  3. Installing skylights if natural light is minimal
  4. Using natural materials as much as possible

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What are the Benefits of Biophilic Design?

Not only will creating a biophilic design provide ongoing health and wellbeing benefits, designing with Biophilia in mind, will help to enhance your business image to visitors and potential clients. Visitors will see that you plan and operate with an environmental awareness and sustainable approach.

How can Tropical Plant Rentals help with your Biophilic Design?

Tropical Plant Rentals have been providing and maintaining beautiful indoor plantscapes for 45 years.

Benefits of Indoor Plants at Work

  • Create a natural vision of beauty and therefore soothes our mood, increases productivity and reduces stress
  • Help to clean the indoor air of harmful toxins emitted from office equipment like Xylene, Benzene and Formaldehyde mentioned above
  • Provide oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. This helps to improve concentration and decrease fatigue
  • Enhance business image by creating a warm and welcoming environment
  • Plants can contribute 2 points towards a Green Star Rating.

To ensure your indoor plants provide all the amazing health benefits and always look their ultimate best, consider professional indoor plant hire. Our friendly indoor plant hire team can consult with you to discuss plant suitability according to your available light, space and budget. We are also Green Star Accredited Professionals and can provide and maintain plants and/or a Green Wall to contribute to your building’s Green Star Rating.

Contact us online or free-call 1800 631 365.