“World first” biophilic design research project to explore impact of nature on buildings and people

biophilic designBRE have launched The Biophilic Office project, a ‘groundbreaking’ office refurbishment in test conditions that will seek to provide quantified evidence on the benefits of biophilic design on health, wellbeing and productivity of office occupants. The project centres on a 650 sq. m. 1980s office building on the BRE campus in Watford, which will be refurbished according to biophilic design principles. BRE are partnering with architect and interior designer Oliver Heath, who will lead on the design element of the refurbished building.

A number of founding core partners are involved to bring their support the project. These are:

  • Interface – manufacturer of flooring
  • Biotecture – supplier of living wall systems
  • Akzo Nobel – paints and coatings company
  • Plessey – lighting technology
  • Ahrend – office furniture
  • Coelux – skylights
  • Ecophon – acoustic products and systems
  • GVA Acuity – facilities management

Each of the partners will be using the office and its test facilities in the project to evaluate their products’ role in promoting the health and wellbeing of office occupants and for wider biophilic design.

 “The project will show how quantified improvements in productivity and wellness can bring rewards for landlords, occupiers, developers and all those concerned with the office and wider built environment” says Ed Suttie, Research Director at BRE. “Researchers will carry out a baseline year of pre-refurbishment and a year of post-refurbishment monitoring, evaluating the office environment for daylight, lighting, indoor air quality, acoustic, thermal and humidity comfort. Office occupants will undergo confidential health evaluations, and sign up to a series of online questionnaires and surveys. They will use wearable technology to monitor key health metrics.

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