What is biophilic design and its importance?

Transcript of Oliver Heath's presentation…

…at the opening of the King’s School in Worcester – the UK’s first Multi Comfort building.

The buildings that we live and work in can deeply impact our mood, behaviour and energy levels, and it’s been enormously frustrating for me, as a designer, an architect and an interior designer to look on and see over the last fifteen or twenty years, that sustainability as really been shorthand for a carbon-centric approach towards buildings. For me there’s a real problem with this very singular carbon-centric approach that is all about our carbon footprint, because as we’ve discussed today, human beings aren’t predictable, they’re messy, they don’t use buildings as architects and engineers predict they might.

On top of that, technologies, materials, the things that make our buildings truly sustainable become outdated and redundant all too quickly.

So, unless we actually love these buildings, then we won’t be motivated to spend the money and the time to refurbish them, so how sustainable is that?

By taking a human-centred approach, focussing on health and wellbeing, it’s a key way of creating spaces that people actually love to use. Saint-Gobain’s Multi Comfort approach goes a long way to recognising and delivering these needs, and it’s absolutely fantastic that they’re behind it.

Now, biophilic design is made up of three key principles and that is:

Firstly it’s about improving the direct contact with nature, so that’s things like having views out onto nature, be it trees or plants, having natural light flooding in, having access to water and many of those things are aspects that a good experienced architects, and clearly the architects of this building have recognised, the importance of good architecture.

The impact the buildings that we live and work in are without doubt a major influence on our energy levels, our stress rates, our ability to sleep at night, our ability to focus, be creative and productive.

So, I applaud Saint-Gobain’s Multi Comfort approach and support in delivering this to the spaces that matter to us most. It’s clearly better for people, it’s better for productivity and it’s better for the planet.