Biophilic Homes

16.03.16

Biophilia is human’s innate affinity to connect with nature.

Biophilic Design seeks to connect us with nature using visual, auditory and sensory stimuli through the use of certain tools/design patterns for designing the built environment. It does this by incorporating certain principles & strategies in the design. Studies have shown that Biophilic design reduces stress levels and increases wellbeing.  Incorporating Biophilic design into our built environment also has sustainability benefits as it seeks to ‘nurture a love of place’.  It does this by aiding for a locally appropriate design considering climate, ecology and the use of local products.

At Prebuilt Biophilic design & sustainability are not mutually exclusive.  During concept design, partner architects, Pleysier Perkins incorporate nature & landscape to masterplan the complete site.  Consideration is given to orientation, views, ventilation & materials.  Complementary to the architecturally designed build, Prebuilt works with sustainable building methods and natural materials to bring the design closer to nature.

Visual & material connection to nature

eg: Consideration of views, gardens, water, use of natural materials such as timber, stone, space/orientation, seasonal densification.

The Inverloch House in Victoria incorporates the Biophilic principle of ‘Refuge’ – designing areas of  retreat and withdrawal, nurturing a sense of protection, healing and rest.  Visual connection to nature, unimpeded views along with the use of timber provide the perfect biophilic experience.

Non visual / auditory connection to nature

eg: bird chirping, sound of water running, natural ventilation, textured materials, sun patches, breezes.

Byron Bay House in NSW gains views reaching out to the water by the use of floor to ceiling windows and a substantial balcony.  Sliding doors capitalize on nature’s ventilation – the sea breeze.

Sensory stimuli

eg: airflow across the skin – ventilation, solar heat gain/sun patches

St Kilda House features a private balcony  that cantilevers over the living room glazing. A void added at the balcony and roof levels to encourage northern light to the plunge pool below.

Use of Dynamic/Diffuse light

eg: changes in light intensities, direct sunlight

St Andrews Beach House in Victoria uses a timber pergola to incorporate , Dynamic/Diffuse light & shadow into the design. Natural timbers provide tactile connection to nature.  Designing for orientation & views provides the perfect natural backdrop whilst taking advantage of passive design for sustainability.