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Biophilic Office Design: How to Incorporate Nature into Your Building

February 2, 2023

How to incorporate nature into your building

The desire to connect with nature is inherent in humans as we spend more and more time working in indoor office spaces. As a result, the usage of biophilic designs in the construction sector has significantly increased.

Biophilic office design seeks to solve the artificial nature of working spaces. It involves implementing biophilic design features that emphasize aspects of nature. These support our physiological indicators of mental and physical well-being.

The biophilic design creates an environment that links to nature by utilizing natural materials, direct sunlight, and patterns. Many organizations today opt for biophilic workplace design because of the numerous advantages it offers to both visitors and staff, not to mention the financial rewards.

The benefits of having a biophilic office design are undeniable, yet for many business people, developing a whole building or office area with a biophilic design is sometimes impossible. This could be because the company owners do not necessarily own the entire area, their office is located inside a historical structure, or they might be tenants.

However, even with these restrictions, you can add biophilic design features to your workplace. Let's look at some strategies for incorporating biophilic design concepts into your office.

1. Use Natural Light

Utilizing natural light is the initial step when integrating nature into a space. Open whatever windows you may have to let in some natural light. Due to artificial light, employees regularly experience headaches, eye tiredness, and blurry vision. If you lack any windows in your office space, use light with a natural color palette. Use warmer colors instead of white lights to replicate the natural sunlight.

Moreover, discard any bulky, stale drapes or blinds, and anything else obstructing the light, including big tables or cupboards. Organize the furniture to interact with the light instead of being against it. For instance, an open-plan workplace would enable more natural and unrestricted lighting to stream through.

2. Grow a Green Wall

Using green or living walls is a simple and discreet approach to incorporating a biophilic design into your office space. A full wall transformed into a living wall is a stunning design choice. If this is not financially feasible, think about vertically hanging plants on the walls to provide a comparable green look.

Place the green wall in a high-traffic area of your business for maximum impact. This will encourage frequent interactions between employees and the outside world throughout the day.

3. Keep Plenty of Plants Around the Office

Start including more natural elements in your workspace. Although plants are a crucial component of biophilic design, moderation is the key. Choose the types of plants that require little maintenance to reduce upkeep costs. Another excellent approach to include nature without occupying any floor space is to use moss. Moss panels are simple to mount, produce fantastic designs, and require no maintenance or care.

You must be careful, though, because having several plants can make your space appear cluttered. One plant for every 100 sq. ft of area is a reasonable rule of thumb. Plants not only add a biophilic component to the office but also lower carbon dioxide levels, combat the urban heat island effect, and enhance air quality.

4. Use Skylights

The most effective approach to introduce natural, regulated sunshine into a structure is via skylights. These allow daylight to enter spaces that might not have any windows.

VTECH skylights offer a wide range of options. Our partners provide turnkey design and installation services, so if you’re looking to let more natural light into your space, regular roof panels with skylights are worth considering.

VTECH skylights can withstand the cold, snow, heat, ice, blazing sun, and even driving rain. Rigorous tests have proven the durability of these skylights, and they won’t disappoint you. They will eliminate infrared wavelengths while allowing natural light to pass through, creating a pleasant atmosphere in your building.

5. Utilize Different Textures

Nature encompasses much more than foliage and living things. Consider using various textures and patterns in the office to prevent the same impact that many architectural spaces have. The feel of a room can be improved by adding textures like sand, rock, wood, and water. A place does not need to be completely redesigned to incorporate natural features. For instance, anything as basic as your receptionist's table could be wavy-shaped and built from various wooden panels.

Although granite and marble can appear cold and distant, they give a sleek look when mixed with moss or plants. Even the materials used in fabrics can influence how biophilic design is implemented. When choosing fabrics, avoid plastics and synthetics and go for natural fibers.

Any workplace environment can benefit from adding water features like waterfalls or fountains, but they should only be used occasionally. An environment can become overpowering if there are too many water-related elements. On average, one water feature should be plenty for every 1,000 square feet of surface area.

6. Acoustics

We rarely think about the sounds in our surroundings until they start to distract us from our work. Biophilic design aims to create environmental acoustics that actively encourages greater well-being.

Acoustic ceiling panels can reduce fake echoes and improve the acoustics of indoor office spaces. They can also stop the sound of printers and other annoying noises from traveling throughout the office.

However, these days, office buildings are located close to water sources and have more natural features. In this case, you might want to allow natural noises to enter the office space from the outside. Playing soft and serene music is helpful in offices where this isn't feasible.

7. Wall Art Makes a Difference

A great way to honor the geography and history of your area is through appropriate art. The mood and motivation of staff are lifted when places are devoted to artwork representing nature and culture, which helps foster a community feel. Consider acquiring murals from regional artists or putting on display artwork that honors the interdependence of humans and nature.

Final Thoughts

Before incorporating any biophilic design features into your workplace renovation project, it's crucial to consider how these adjustments will affect your overall company strategy. The impact of every biophilic design component matters significantly compared to the volume.

In other words, choosing the appropriate elements to complement the environment and, more crucially, the occupants, is a factor that ensures good biophilic design. We recommend installing skylights if you intend to redesign your office to make it more biophilic.

When it comes to skylights, there is no better option than VTECH. Our commercial building skylights, commercial skylight systems, and custom skylights are ideal for you. Visit our website today to check out commercial skylight prices and skylight designs. We have plenty of options for you.

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