How to Use Biophilic Design Principles to Enhance Residential and Commercial Real Estate?

In the fast-paced, technology-driven world we live in, there is an increasing need to reconnect with nature. This longing is not just emotional or spiritual but has significant physical and mental health benefits. Biophilic design, a concept that integrates nature and natural elements into the built environment, is a surefire way to bridge the gap between the indoors and the great outdoors. This article aims to guide you on how to use biophilic design principles to upgrade residential and commercial real estate properties, promoting well-being and adding value to your investments.

Understanding Biophilic Design

Before diving into practical applications, it’s important to grasp what biophilic design is. It’s an innovative approach that enhances occupants’ connection to the natural environment through the use of direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions.

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Biophilic design is not just about adding a plant here and a water feature there. It’s a holistic approach that requires careful planning and consideration. It’s about creating spaces that foster a deep, meaningful connection with nature, which in turn improves residents’ or occupants’ wellbeing.

Direct Nature

Direct nature involves incorporating physical, living nature into a space. This could be through plants, animals, water, or even the weather. You could include an indoor garden, an aquarium, a water fountain, or large windows that allow for plenty of natural light and views of the outdoor landscape.

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Indirect Nature

Indirect nature refers to the use of images of nature, natural materials, colors, or patterns. For instance, you could use wallpaper with a forest print, furniture made from reclaimed wood, a color palette that reflects the outdoors, or fabric with a leaf pattern.

Space and Place Conditions

Space and place conditions involve creating an environment that engages our innate attraction to nature. This could mean designing a room that mimics the feeling of sitting under a tree canopy or using natural light to create patterns on a wall.

Enhancing Residential Real Estate

Biophilic design can significantly enhance the value and appeal of residential real estate. It doesn’t just improve the aesthetics of a home; it also creates a healthier, more harmonious living environment.

For instance, the use of plants and natural light can improve air quality and mood, while natural materials and colors can create a calming, restorative atmosphere.

You might consider designing a living wall in the living room, installing skylights to increase natural light, or using stone and reclaimed wood for your floors and furniture. The use of water features, like a small indoor fountain, can also create a sense of tranquillity and reduce stress.

Elevating Commercial Real Estate

In commercial real estate, biophilic design can enhance employee productivity, customer satisfaction, and overall business success.

Office spaces, for example, can benefit from indoor gardens, which not only add a touch of beauty but also purify the air and reduce noise levels. Retail spaces, on the other hand, might use natural motifs and materials to create a welcoming, calming environment that encourages customers to linger.

You can add biophilic elements to a commercial building’s exterior, too. Greened facades or roofs are visually attractive and can help regulate the building’s temperature, reducing energy costs.

Biophilic Design in Practice

Now that you understand what biophilic design is and how it can benefit residential and commercial real estate, it’s time to put theory into practice.

Start by assessing the property and identifying opportunities to incorporate biophilic design. Consider the building’s location, the local climate, and the available natural resources.

Then create a plan. Prioritize the most impactful elements and identify where they would be most effective. For instance, a living wall might be a focal point in a lobby, while a water feature might be best placed in a relaxation area.

Finally, implement your plan, remembering to regularly review and adjust as necessary. Biophilic design is not a one-time process but an ongoing commitment to creating healthier, more connected spaces.

While biophilic design may require an initial investment, the potential benefits — improved wellbeing, increased property value, and reduced operational costs — make it a worthwhile endeavor. Whether you’re a homeowner looking to enhance your living space or a business owner aiming to boost your bottom line, biophilic design offers a sustainable, forward-thinking solution that can transform your property and your life.

Biophilic Design for Better Living: The Residential Experience

Residential properties can experience a significant improvement in their overall aesthetic and living experience when biophilic design principles are applied. The key is to create a sense of harmony, balance, and connection with the natural environment within the home.

For starters, look at your living spaces and identify areas where you can incorporate elements of direct nature. Consider introducing indoor plants in specific corners of your house, an indoor vertical garden, or even a small indoor fish pond. These can serve as focal points in your home, offering aesthetic appeal, and providing the calming effects of nature.

Next, focus on indirect nature. Here, you could incorporate nature-inspired artwork, color schemes derived from nature, or using natural materials like stone and wood, which can be utilized in your furniture and fixtures. Such elements not just contribute to a more captivating aesthetic but also evoke a sense of calmness and tranquillity.

Lastly, apply space and place conditions. Think of how you can emulate the feel of being in nature within your rooms. This could be an outdoor view from a window, a skylight that allows the flow of natural light, or even the use of sounds that mimic nature.

Implementing these biophilic design principles in residential properties contributes to a healthier and more serene living environment while promoting a significant increase in the property’s value.

Boosting Business with Biophilic Design: Commercial Real Estate

When it comes to commercial real estate, biophilic design can be a game-changer. Its implementation can lead to a healthier, more energetic working environment, thus boosting employee productivity and overall business success.

In the office spaces, for instance, the inclusion of direct nature elements such as indoor plants can improve air quality, reduce noise levels and create a more appealing and less stressful environment.

In applying indirect nature, you could opt for wallpapers, carpets, or upholstery with nature-inspired patterns or motifs. Using natural materials like wood or stone for your furniture and fixtures can also impart a feeling of calm and serenity, thereby reducing stress and boosting productivity.

Finally, using space and place conditions smartly can help create more welcoming, comfortable, and effective workspaces. You could design office layouts that mimic natural settings, use natural light cleverly to create inspiring and conducive work areas, or even incorporate natural sounds or scents to enhance the workspace ambiance.

Incorporating biophilic design in commercial real estate not only adds aesthetic value but can also significantly impact the bottom line by improving employee wellness, minimizing sick days, and increasing productivity.


Embracing biophilic design principles is an effective way to bring nature into your residential and commercial properties, fostering a deeper connection with the natural world, enhancing the overall aesthetic, and promoting health and wellbeing. Whether it’s a residential or commercial property, biophilic design offers an innovative, forward-thinking approach that redefines our living and working spaces, creating healthier, more enjoyable environments. Though it may require an investment initially, the long-term benefits — a boost in wellbeing, increased property value, and reduced operational costs — are well worth the endeavor. With biophilic design, we can genuinely create spaces where people thrive.