3 Simple Ways to Design a Biophilic Home

Seembu
Seembu
Oct 27, 2016 · 4 min read
Image via Unsplash

Biophilic Design is an innovative way of designing the places where we live, work, and learn. Moreover, Biophilic design integrates the building with the available natural resources around us plants, water and air. Biophilic design can reduce stress, improve cognitive function and creativity, improve our well-being and expedite healing. With application of Biophilic Design, it could give a positive impact to the building users.

Maximize the advantages of nature which is free and available. To help you design a Biophilic home, here are 3 ways to apply Biophilic design to your home:

METHOD 1: APPLY BIOMIMICRY FINISHES

It simply means that you should apply natural finishes such as wood or stone to your interior/exterior walls, floors or any other elements in your home.

Design considerations on applying natural finishes on your walls or floors

Image via Totems Architecture

a. Quantities of a (natural) material should be specified based on intended function of the space.

Image via Marc Canut

One such study demonstrated that a difference in wood ratio on the walls of an interior space led to different physiological responses. The researchers observed that a room with a moderate ratio of wood (i.e., 45% coverage), with a more subjective “comfortable” feeling, exhibited significant decreases in diastolic blood pressure and significant increases in pulse rate.

b. Choose authentic material over synthetic ones

Image via Marc Canut

Real materials are preferred over synthetic variations because human receptors can tell the difference between real and synthetic, so minimally processed materials from real nature are preferred whenever possible.

METHOD 2: LET NATURAL LIGHT AND AIR PENETRATE

Image via Catherine Macfee Interior Design

Design considerations on Natural light and ventilation

a. Orient the building where the building could capture the light and air. Avoid the side which captures the heat.

Image via Line Grundstad Hanke Interior Design

Search for Sun and Wind Map of your location and identify the wind direction and Solar path. The best performer for light is on the south side rather than in the west and east. It is called the 6M Passive zone. Thus, the design of the buildings have window openings facing the South side.

b. Achieve appropriate WWR (window-wall ratio)

Image via Canadian Home Decor

Window area or window-to-wall ratio (WWR) is an important variable affecting energy performance in a building. Window area will have impacts on the building’s heating, cooling, and lighting, as well as relating it to the natural environment in terms of access to daylight, ventilation and views. The WWR (window-wall ratio) chart shows the right WWR in order to achieve good daylighting.

WWR Chart (Source: Patterns of Biophilic Design: Improving Health and Well-being in the built environment by William Browning)

METHOD 3: ADD BLUE AND GREEN ELEMENTS

It means add landscape and water elements to your design.

Image via 3Dskaper

Design consideration on adding landscape and water elements

a. Prioritize or enable exercise opportunities that are in proximity to green spaces.

Image via Suppose Design Office

Add natural elements around spaces such as dining area, living spaces or any spaces where you could stay longer.

Stress recovery from visual connections with nature have reportedly been realized through lowered blood pressure and heart rate. Viewing of nature stimulates a larger portion of the visual cortex than non-nature scenes, which triggers more pleasure receptors in our brain, leading to prolonged interest and faster stress recover.

b. Add some water features such as Koi pond or fountains.

Image via aadaw.nvrdns

The Presence of Water element has evolved from research on visual preference for and positive emotional responses to environments containing water elements; reduced stress, increased feelings of tranquility, and lower heart rate and blood pressure from exposure to water features; improved concentration and memory restoration induced by complex, naturally fluctuating visual stimuli; and enhanced perception and psychological and physiological responsiveness when multiple senses are stimulated simultaneously.

Sources:

Seembu

Written by

Seembu

www.seembu.com | Architecture I Interior design | Career development

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade