BRE Biophilic Design

How BRE are bringing biophilic design into buildings and using it to enhance people’s lives is one of today’s most exciting building design challenges, and one that offers huge opportunities.

We spend 90% of our lives in buildings, which means our health and wellbeing is influenced significantly by the built environment.

Biophilic design offers an inspiring movement under which the health and wellbeing qualities that impact on workplace environments can be captured. Harvard professor Edward O Wilson’s book ‘Biophilia’ concluded that we have a genetic connection to nature, and hold a biological need for physical, mental and social connections with nature. Living and working in more natural environments can alleviate negative emotions such as anger, anxiety, depression and stress, whilst helping us to feel calmer and be inspired.

Biophilic design acknowledges this genetic connection with numerous benefits to our health, wellbeing and efficiency. The scientific evidence for the positive influence of biophilic design on the health and wellbeing of building occupants is growing. In an office environment this is shown as quantified improvements in productivity, wellness and a reduction in days absent due to illness. 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. A 1% reduction in absenteeism would convert to a saving, in lost days alone, of £1 billion to the economy. In addition better business outcomes that come with happier and healthier staff enabled by the internal fit-out of your office adds further benefit.

The Biophilic Office is a long-term research and demonstration project from BRE and Oliver Heath Design, supported by a range of partners.


The Biophilic Office Project Timing

To read more about the Biophilic Office Project, visit


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