At the centre of our approach is the human element, but we also introduce the environment through considered use of plants and a sophisticated approach to design. Rapid urbanization has resulted in dense environments and buildings dominated by grass, concrete, cars and other hard surfaces. This has decreased exposure to plant life and good air quality as well as access to natural sunlight. It is estimated the young and elderly now spend over 90% of their time indoors. The simple act of allowing people outside into the sunlight can boost the immune system.
Important research coming from fields including neurology and endocrinology, have scientifically validated the positive psychophysical and cognitive benefits of spending time either in, or looking at greenspace.
Incorporating plant life into and around the home, school and work environment is not a new concept. Today we understand human beings have an essential need to be connected to the natural environment—it is critical to our ability to function and develop.
Introducing biophilic elements increases health, wellbeing and performance, and has the most benefits when used in areas where people experience stress such as fast-paced work places, medical facilities, highly urbanized areas and work places requiring creativity.
Employing natural materials such as stone and wood amongst extensive greenery is an obvious way to incorporate biophilic elements. Water features and aquascapes can provide calming effects to counter rising levels of stress, while natural light and ventilation can improve the character and ambience of a building, which in turn has a positive impact on physical wellbeing of those who use the area.
A good Planting design is the first step in ensuring a positive impact, but ongoing maintenance is also important.
Greening Urban Environments
Rooftop Playspace Sensory Planting – foliage texture, visual interest and fragrance
Residential Design Water features – sound Early years Concept Design Sensory pathways and quiet areas
Biophilic Designs in Education
In early childhood settings the importance of the outdoor play area is supported legally by the national code requirement of 7m2 unencumbered area per child, many organisations and operators prefer to allow for more than the minimum. However, in schools there is no such requirement for a minimum outdoor space per child. It is possible for there to be no, or very low quality greenspaces. This is of a particular concern for schools located in built up urban areas, where multilevel buildings dominate, and schools become landlocked.
Rooftops, vertical spaces and indoor planted areas are becoming critical to allow for this recharge. We encourage schools to allow for as many controlled, framed views of greenspace as possible, and where suitable consider indoor greenspaces. Planning for this early and ensuring that landscaped areas are integrated within the built form is essential.
Outdoor classrooms Greening Community Centres adding Greenery to be Viewed Latrobe University Concept Activating Outdoor Spaces for Use