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Sunday, 28 November 2021
Connecting People with Nature in the Built Environment through Biophilic Building Design

Post-lockdown city occupants treasure urban green spaces more than ever and are increasingly seeking out ways to bring the natural environment into their lives. Why? Because nature makes us feel good.


Biophilia is the affinity between human beings and nature. It’s a concept that is steadily making its way into our weekend activities, workspaces, and homes. It also has a pivotal role to play in the future of building design. Biophilic building design increases connectivity with nature by using natural materials like timber, natural lighting and ventilation and enhancing exposure to vegetation. It has been linked to a host of positive health benefits including mental restoration and decreased fatigue, better focus and productivity, reduced stress levels and improved overall wellbeing.


Consciousness toward nature is at the very core of biophilic design. To achieve successful application of the concept, sustainable measures must be incorporated into the building process. One way to ensure that biophilic building design is beneficial to both people and the environment is to use timber from sustainable sources. Timber is a strong and durable material to build with that offers a warm and welcoming design appeal, and timber-built architecture thus serves as a triple threat, offering biophilic, structural and aesthetic benefits.


The use of FSC-certified timber in construction projects has a three-fold advantage that can ensure a genuine biophilic sense of connection to nature. FSC is widely accepted as the gold standard verification that wood and wood-based products are sourced responsibly from a well-managed forest. It also features in leading global green building promotion schemes such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and the Living Building Challenge. Lastly, FSC certification is required to varying degrees as proof of compliance with public procurement requirements.


Biophilic building design aims to connect our need to affiliate with nature in the built environment. Green spaces that feature natural materials like timber, an abundance of vegetation and natural ventilation and lighting have been linked to a host of positive mental and physical health benefits for occupants. Biophilic timber-built architecture underpinned by a dedication to sourcing FSC-certified materials can simultaneously support the wellbeing of occupants while protecting of the world’s forests and those that depend upon them.


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