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Biophilic Design

Using biophilic design to promote recovery, health, and comfort in healthcare environments

Biophlic design that promotes exposure to natural elements in the built environment has been shown to have a significant effect on the health and wellbeing of occupants, providing optimal conditions for heatlhcare environments. According to the literature, the effects of natural elements such as natural materials, daylighting, room orientation, views to nature, vegetation and plants in hospitalized patients rooms have a significant influence on the their length of stay, pain, and mood.

However, design guidelines that account for the health and wellbeing of patients and medical personnel in relation to biophilic design and connection with the natural environment are not sufficiently developed and healthcare environments still provide alienated spaces.

This research develops a new series of evidence-based design guidelines for healthcare environments. Our biophilic healthcare design guidelines are evaluated according to the quality of evidence, using key indoor and outdoor physical design parameters in relation to their potential impact on patients recovery, health and wellbeing.

We focus on six biophilic attributes: materials, views, gardens and vegetation, and daylight, in correlation to six types of outcomes: recovery rate, hospitalization days, pain levels, stress levels, active behavior, and task performance. This work critically contributes to improved design strategies from a range of design characteristics and interventions, including natural materials, views from patients beds, physical access to outdoors, and exposure to direct sunlight.