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Can Architecture Affect Your Health? Biophilic Design Offers Insight

Can Architecture Affect Your Health? Biophilic Design Offers Insight

Can Architecture Affect Your Health? Biophilic Design Offers Insight

By: Shehnaz Nilamdeen, Assoc. AIA, LFA

Architecture and interior design aren't just about creating visually appealing spaces; they play a pivotal role in shaping our health and well-being. Over the years, there's been increasing evidence that the spaces we inhabit directly influence our physical and mental health. And leading this conversation? Biophilic design.

What is Biophilic Design?

Biophilic design is a concept within the building industry aimed at connecting people with the natural environment. The term 'biophilic' is derived from the word 'biophilia', which describes humanity's innate tendency to seek connections with nature

Why is biophilic design important?. When implemented effectively, it can reduce stress, improve cognitive function, enhance mood, and expedite healing. At its core, biophilic design acknowledges the human need for nature, addressing it through architectural and design practices.

Health Benefits of Biophilic Design

The advantages of embracing biophilic design are vast and well-documented. Let's delve into some of the statistics and insights that underline its impact:

  • Boosted Productivity and Well-being: Office spaces enriched with greenery witness a 15% enhancement in well-being. Employers in a 2003 study of a call center saw a whopping 299% ROI when employees had visual access to plants. It's no surprise then that employees in such environments are 15% more productive.[1]

  • Reduced Illness Symptoms: Incorporating plants or even views to greenery in office spaces can reduce symptoms of fatigue, coughs, sore throats, and other symptoms of illness by over 30%.[2]
  • Enhanced Creativity: An environment filled with natural elements can boost creativity by up to 15%.[3]
  • Impact on Healthcare: Biophilic design in healthcare settings correlates with a 22% decrease in the necessity for pain medication. Hospital patients with views of nature recover faster, have fewer negative comments from nurses, and require less potent pain medication than those with less inspiring views.
  • Educational Advantages: Incorporating biophilic design in educational spaces has shown to increase learning rates by 20-25%, leading to better test results, improved concentration, and decreased impacts of ADHD.[4]
  • Economic Benefits in Hospitality and Retail: In the hospitality sector, guests are willing to pay up to 23% more for rooms with biophilic elements. On the retail front, customers have indicated they would pay 8-12% more for goods and services in spaces embracing biophilic design.[5]

Soltech and the Biophilic Revolution

Our relationship with architecture and nature is ever-evolving. At Soltech, we're at the forefront of this revolution, illuminating interior spaces with museum-grade lighting that complements biophilic designs. As architects increasingly adopt biophilic elements, plants become an integral part of interior designs. Here's where Soltech's specialized plant lighting comes into play, ensuring that these green elements thrive, even indoors.

For those curious about the broader implications of design on our mental health especially in these upcoming winter months, our piece on "Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder: SAD Symptoms and Treatments" is a must-read. Dive into it [here].


The Intersection of Biophilic and Sustainable Architecture

A common query that arises is: What is the difference between biophilic and sustainable architecture? While both aim at a more eco-friendly approach, biophilic design specifically focuses on the human connection to nature, while sustainable architecture emphasizes environmentally friendly construction methods and materials.

Several biophilic architecture firms are bridging the gap between these two, ensuring that buildings not only have a reduced carbon footprint but also enhance human well-being.

Wrapping Up

Can architecture affect your health? The evidence is resounding: Yes, it can. Biophilic design, with its focus on integrating natural elements into our built environment, is shaping the future of architecture and design. Whether it's improved mental well-being, increased productivity, or economic benefits, the implications are profound and far-reaching.

For those interested in exploring the world of indoor plants further, check out our guide on "Can LED Lights Be Used As Grow Lights? Best Growlights For Indoor Plants." You can find it [here]

So, next time you're considering a redesign or looking at a new space, remember to consider the health benefits that come with a touch of nature. The future is green, and it's brighter than ever.

[1] Nieuwenhuis, M., Knight, C., Postmes, T., & Haslam, S. A. (2014). The relative benefits of green versus lean office space: Three field experiments. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 20(3), 199–214.

[2] Heshong-Mahone Group, 2003. Windows and offices: A Study of Worker Performance and the Indoor Environment. California Energy Commission: PIER program.

[3] Research has shown that even small human interaction with nature throughout the day can reduce stress, blood pressure levels and heart rates, whilst increasing productivity (in offices by 8%), creativity and self-reported rates of well-being (13%)

[4] ( In addition, greenery has also been proven to boost our immune response to a range of diseases, including diabetes, obesity, cancer, as well as others

[5] ( In addition, greenery has also been proven to boost our immune response to a range of diseases, including diabetes, obesity, cancer, as well as others