Recent studies have shown that biophilic designs can significantly improve human wellbeing and productivity. As the first of its kind, an Australian longitudinal study has found that biophilic design has both social and psychological benefits, such as increased cooperation and mentoring, and improved work satisfaction and morale. The study observed workers in a build-site office that had been created according to biophilic design principles, with an open-plan workspace, natural light and ventilation, plants, a view, and the use of recycled and natural materials. Whilst the study took place across 2 years, it was found that within the first couple of weeks the workers felt their wellbeing and work performance had greatly improved, and this feeling lasted for the entire 2 years.
Urban construction and operation account for over 70% of the global CO2 emissions that are implicated in climate change. It is argued that there is a place for biophilic design in the face of climate change. Climate change creates stresses on the conditions optimal for human living, such as through extreme weather fluctuations. Biophilic design can reduce these stresses by changing the materials used in construction, thoughtful design, and adding greenery. Further, the biophilic design contributes to human comfort through the tactical placement of shade and windbreaks, or through the sensory perceptions discussed earlier such as a sense of connection, place, and tranquillity. Finally, biophilic design may also provide refuge to species that are displaced by climate change, becoming a “de facto habitat” or by supporting certain microclimates through thoughtful construction.