Biophilic Design: A Green Solution to Tackling Global Warming
Biophilic design intertwines architecture and the natural environment. Prioritizing health and wellbeing have become the supreme goal in designing spaces especially after pandemic. Biophilia is not just for aesthetics, its benefits delve deep into human wellbeing as well as regulating biodiversity and global warming.
Biophilic design aims to create a modern built environment that mimics a biological organism that advances people’s well-being. Experiences and attributes of biophilic design can be directly applied to the design of spaces where you can provide the direct and indirect experience of nature in the built environment.
Biophilic design is rooted in the idea that humans have an innate connection with nature. The term “biophilia” was popularized by biologist E.O. Wilson, who argued that humans have an inherent affinity for other living organisms and natural processes.
The biophilic design leverages this connection by integrating natural elements, such as plants, natural light, water features, and natural materials, into architectural and interior design. The goal is to create spaces that not only look aesthetically pleasing but also enhance well-being, reduce stress, and promote sustainability.
Key Principles of Biophilic Design
- Environmental features – People are naturally drawn to the environmental features that they want to replicate in their living spaces. A sense of connection can be created with sunlight, water, and even colors that promote human well-being. Bringing the environmental features into the livable spaces creates a deeper natural character connection. The incorporation of natural features helps to bring in a sense of visual and mental calmness.
- Natural shapes and forms –Biophilic design incorporates organic shapes, patterns, and materials reminiscent of nature. Curved lines, biomorphic forms, and the use of wood, stone, and other natural materials help create a harmonious environment.
- Natural lighting and views – Biophilic design hinges on the incorporation of large windows, skylights, and open spaces, as they play a pivotal role in allowing the infusion of natural light into indoor areas. These architectural elements not only facilitate the infiltration of sunlight but also establish a sense of seamless connection to the external environment through views of lush greenery and the surrounding natural landscape.
- Natural patterns and processes– The intent of biophilic design is to integrate natural elements, materials, and patterns into architectural spaces in order to bring people closer to nature. The human mind also prefers experiences that are made up of several distinct parts, such as things with different textures, or variance over time. It is crucial that we acknowledge the innate need to be surrounded by nature and greenery in order to enhance their well-being and improve our well-being.
- Place-based relationships – This principle focuses on the linkage between culture and ecology. Place-based relationship in architecture strives to create buildings and spaces that are not generic or disconnected from their surroundings but rather are fundamental in the unique qualities and spirit of the place in which they exist. This creates a sense of belonging to the people who use it.
- Human-nature relationship – This principle creates spaces that resonate with our deep-rooted affinity for nature, fostering a sense of calm, inspiration, and harmony. Incorporating elements of nature such as ample natural light, greenery, and natural materials, they create environments that promote a sense of tranquility and vitality. These spaces can rejuvenate our spirits, boost productivity, and improve our overall quality of life. It is important to design spaces that relate to nature and humankind which is essential for promoting holistic health and ensuring spaces of comfort, inspiration, and rejuvenation.
How Biophilic Design Tackles Global Warming?
- Energy Efficiency: Biophilic design promotes energy efficiency by harnessing natural resources. Increased natural light reduces the need for artificial lighting, while proper ventilation reduces the demand for mechanical cooling and heating. This translates into lower energy consumption, which is a vital component in the fight against global warming.
- Carbon Sequestration: The use of plants and trees in and around buildings contributes to carbon sequestration. Trees, for instance, absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping to offset emissions generated by human activities.
- Sustainable Building Materials: By prioritizing eco-friendly and locally sourced materials, biophilic design reduces the carbon emissions associated with the production and transportation of construction materials. This supports sustainable practices and reduces a building’s overall carbon footprint.
- Improved Well-being: Biophilic design not only benefits the environment but also enhances the well-being of occupants. People in biophilic environments often report reduced stress levels and increased productivity. Happier, healthier individuals are more likely to adopt sustainable lifestyles and practices.
- Community Engagement: Biophilic design can extend beyond individual buildings to entire communities. Green spaces, parks, and communal gardens foster a sense of community and encourage outdoor activities. People who have access to nature in their neighborhoods are more likely to appreciate and support environmental conservation efforts.
Incorporate Biophilic Design with McD BERL
Biophilic design offers a holistic approach to addressing the challenges posed by global warming. By reconnecting people with nature through design, it not only creates aesthetically pleasing and healthy living spaces but also contributes to energy efficiency, carbon sequestration, and sustainable building practices. As we continue to grapple with the climate crisis, embracing biophilic design principles can be a significant step towards a more sustainable and harmonious future for both humanity and the planet.
McD BERL has over 20 years of experience in creating net zero & net positive energy and water buildings. Biophilic design is a central theme in our approach to designing built environments. This will improve the health and wellness of your occupants, and make your buildings beautiful and highly energy efficient. Get in touch with us today for your MEP and sustainability needs.