Biophilic Office Design: How to Bring Nature into your Building
As we all spend more time indoors, we feel the need to connect with nature more than ever before. And because of this, in the building industry, biophilic designs have rapidly increased.
What is Biophilic Design?
Biophilic office design refers to an increasing trend of bringing the outdoors indoors and increasing occupants connectivity to the natural environment through the use of direct and indirect nature elements.
This includes introducing natural daylight, plants, vegetative or green walls, bright colors and natural features like wood and/or stone that evoke nature.
For example, in the picture above, the Emery Hotel converted its historic bank lobby into a natural oasis by using Solatube Tubular Daylighting Devices to flood the space with natural light and highlight and support the lobby's updated biophilic design elements.
Why Biophilic Design?
Growing research has shown that biophilia has a distinct physiological and psychological impact on humans.
By integrating elements of nature into your design, occupants inside the building will experience reduced stress, increased productivity, amplified creativity and improved morale.
Sunlight is the one element that supports all the living aspects of biophilic design.
This is important for biophilic design because human brains and physiology are largely driven by the natural patterns of light/dark and the subtle spectral shift of daylight that occur in nature. Broad spectrum light is naturally beneficial to our health, plus the fluctuations in daylight due to clouds can help maintain good psychological connection to the outside world for building occupants.
Abundant natural lighting is also important for supporting indoor green spaces for effective biophilic designs.
So how do you design with sunlight?
Daylighting systems are the most efficient way to bring natural, controlled sunlight into a building. With Solatube Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDDs), daylight can reach places never thought possible, overcoming limitations associated with windows and traditional skylights in both new and retrofit applications.
What are TDDs exactly?
They start with domes that sit on the roof of a building, engineered to capture sunlight from virtually any angle. They then push that light into the building space via highly reflective tubes and fixtures that diffuse it for a beautiful spread of natural light into the area beneath. Solatube Daylight Dimmers can also be fitted to specific TDD systems to allow offices to be darkened when needed, much like electrical lights. The simple wall switch makes activities presenting a breeze.
The best part is that this technology nearly eliminates infrared wavelengths from 950-2500nm, allowing the system to deliver a full spectrum of visible light without bringing in the heat, making TDDs perfect for hot climates where traditional skylights may be a problem.
If you want to learn more about biophilic design using the power of the sun, you can call 888.SOLATUBE to set up a free consultation or visit Solatube.com/commercial to find your local distributor.
We can help find solutions by incorporating daylighting into your projects, from spec writing to daylight modeling to a simple consultation.
We even offer an AIA* CES-approved continuing education course called "Successful Daylighting for Wellness & Sustainable Design" if you want to learn more.
To book a course or receive more information, you can visit solatube.com/commercial/continuing-education-courses, or call us at 866-637-0717.