The Next Step In Sustainable Office Design: Bringing Nature Indoors
Bringing more outdoor elements from nature into the office could be the next step in sustainable design geared toward improving employee health and happiness, in addition to energy efficiency.
Research shows that incorporating biophilic design, a method of bringing the outdoors inside a building, can reduce stress levels, lead to fewer sick days and increase employee productivity, Architecture and Design reports.
Sustainable design strategies have become more popular among architects recently, because there is a better understanding that humans naturally seek out connections to nature. As a result, developers are incorporating design elements such as natural daylight, fresh air ventilation and green space into their design.
These techniques are also being used in buildings such as hospitals.
In Melbourne, Australia, The New Royal Children’s Hospital was designed using textures, forms and colors inspired by natural elements surrounding the hospital in hopes that patients would feel like they are outdoors even when stuck inside. Most of the rooms have also been designed with views of a nearby park.