Author: Terrapin Bright Green

The Economics of Biophilia: Communities

Integration of green space into urban design cultivates a society that is more aware and invested in a long-term shift toward generations that are healthier, more productive, and more connected to nature. Recognizing the premiums that green properties generate could change building codes and best practices in construction in the long run, resulting in urban areas that move towards reconnecting with the native landscape.

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The Economics of Biophilia: Retail

Biophilic retail is a growing trend at all types of venues, from outdoor retail promenades, indoor malls and flagship stores to airport concessions, restaurants, and hospitality retail amenities. By embracing daylight and greenery strategies that add ‘experiential value’ and market/brand differentiation, developers and store owners have the opportunity to optimize profit margins that are economically, environmentally, and socially savvy.

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The Economics of Biophilia: Healthcare

Evidence suggests that natural light, access to nature, and views of nature should be incorporated into design for healthcare facilities. While there are initial upfront costs to this design, the growing body of research shows that the payback is quantifiable in patient and staff benefits. Scientific studies continue to support the integration of nature into hospital settings for patient wellness, increased profit margins, and reduced hospital budgets.

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The Economics of Biophilia: Schools

It is time to start relying on our affinity to nature to design schools that use biophilic standards to complement the efforts being made to improve educational curricula. The lessons from the healthcare and other sectors show that their biophilic standards decrease costs while improving outcomes. Keeping children in school until they graduate and helping them to focus their attention on learning has immense benefits to society at large.

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The Economics of Biophilia: Workplace

Companies across a widening range of industries from technology to manufacturing, have had similar success using their biophilic workplace and green building to entice top prospective employees to join their organization. The Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park in Manhattan was designed as an iconic building and to ensure that 90% of all employees had views to parks, green roofs and/or rivers, with the explicit purpose of attracting and retaining the best employees. This shift to incorporate nature into workplace design continues as companies see the financial benefits of biophilic workplaces.

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The Economics of Biophilia: Introduction

This series argues in favor of biophilic design by examining scientific studies of nature’s effect on productivity and human health in a variety of built environments, and assigning economic values to these outcomes to promote the broad adoption of biophilic design. The aim of our research is to show the economic value in offering biophilic experiences, not just as a luxury, but as an economic driver. In order to understand the case for utilizing biophilic design, it is crucial to discuss how productivity, health, and wellbeing can be measured—ranging from reduced absenteeism to improved classroom outcomes—and translated into dollar savings. Our investigations into “human capital management” have provided the foundation to understand why society can no longer afford to ignore the value of nature. Our initial explorations of biophilic design in the workplace and hospitality have shown significant benefits, prompting us to further explore potential benefits to other industries and sectors of society.

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Guide to Green Building – Product of the Week

Fired-clay brick exteriors and pavers allow virtually unlimited design freedom with earth-friendly sustainability. Brick’s tested superior durability, moisture resistance, seismic strength and performance in extreme weather offers a minimum one-hour fire rating by itself. Made from abundant natural clay and shale, fired-clay brick is available in many colors that do not fade, does not off-gas volatile organize compounds (VOCs) or other toxic materials with a 100-year lifespan.

Fired-clay brick exteriors and pavers allow virtually unlimited design freedom with earth-friendly sustainability. Brick’s tested superior durability, moisture resistance, seismic strength and performance in extreme weather offers a minimum one-hour fire rating by itself. Made from abundant natural clay and shale, fired-clay brick is available in many colors that do not fade, does not off-gas volatile organize compounds (VOCs) or other toxic materials with a 100-year lifespan.

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August September 2017 online edition of PRISM

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