How you can apply the principles of biophilic design to your office space
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What is a Biophilic Interior Design?A biophilic interior design is one that incorporates natural elements as central parts of the design to help employees and sometimes customers feel connected with nature. Check out our recent blog on How To Incorporate Indoor Landscaping Into Your Designs to find out more about what biophilia is and what the principles of biophilic design are. Keeping these elements in mind as you plan your commercial space can influence many aspects of the building process, including placement of key elements like windows, light fixtures and how plumbing systems will be put into power water features or feed plants.
“People naturally enjoy coming to work in a calming environment that promotes wellbeing and good health. This can translate to thousands of dollars saved over the course of a year for a larger organization with many employees on site.”
Incorporating a Living Green Wall into Your OfficeOne of the best ways to incorporate plants in a visually striking way within a commercial space is a living green wall. This is a garden that grows vertically along a portion of a wall or the full surface of a wall. A living green wall creates a large focal point and allows for a lot of plant life to be incorporated into a small space. When incorporated into a communal space, like a break room or entryway, the green wall can be enjoyed by any employee at their convenience.
Simple Ways to Complement a Biophilic DesignThere are several small ways to complement the larger biophilic elements you incorporate, including:
- Incorporating white noise into the office. This allows your employees to block out interoffice chatter and focus on the natural elements in the space. A densely populated office space can get noisy very fast, which can irritate and distract your employees. This is especially true in open-plan office spaces, a kind of design that is seeing a surge in popularity across the country. These designs purposely include communal spaces to encourage collaboration. While these kinds of offices are seen to encourage creativity and team building, they can also result in increased noise levels. Studies have shown that noise based distractions can cause workers to lose up to 86 minutes’ worth of productivity each day. By piping in white noise, which mimics the sound of natural airflow, you can minimize distraction and encourage employees to immerse themselves in the natural elements you provide.
- Choose textiles and décor elements that play into a natural theme. Select wall and floor colors inspired by colors in nature, like the neutral beige of a sandy beach, the deep blue of an ocean wave or the vibrant green of a thriving forest. Choose natural textiles, like bamboo, raffia, and cotton, wherever possible to encourage employees to feel immersed in nature. You can also choose artwork that features natural landscapes for important focal points inside the office space.
- Keep windows and other glass surfaces clean to allow as much natural light as possible to come through. This is especially key in winter months when many office workers spend the scant daylight hours indoors and are greeted by darkness shortly after they leave work.