The Biophilic Office refurbishment project centres on a 650m2 1980s office building on the BRE campus in Watford, which will be refurbished, partnering with designer Oliver Heath who will lead on the design element, according to biophilic design principles. Biophilia (meaning a love of nature) focuses on a human’s innate attraction to nature and natural processes. Biophilic design is a human centred approach that when applied improves many of the spaces that we live and work in today.
Research has shown that we spend 90% of our lives in buildings and yet our typical office environment in the UK up to 60% of staff don’t have sufficient access to daylight. More than 130 million days are lost to sickness absence every year in Great Britain and working-age ill health costs the national economy £100 billion a year. Biophilic design acknowledges that we are genetically connected to nature and that a human centred approach can improve many of the spaces that we live and work, with numerous benefits to our health and wellbeing and efficiency.
Researchers will carry out a baseline year of pre-refurbishment and a year of post-refurbishment monitoring. During this time, they will evaluate the office environment for daylight, lighting, indoor air quality, acoustic, thermal and humidity comfort. This will be carried out in parallel to an assessment of the health and well-being of staff.
The project will aim to answer the following questions:
• What practical and cost effective interventions can office owners implement to improve health and wellbeing?
• Can these be quantified as part of a decision-making process?
• Can products used in the refurbishment of a building be measured for their “health and wellbeing potential”?
In answering these 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.
For more information on this project click here.