Perkins & Wills Leigh Christy explains the benefits of incorporating biophilic design principles into the workplace for both individuals and the planet.
Wellbeing in sustainable practice and design is more connected than we usually deal with. A workplace design approach that engages sustainability and wellbeing as complementary complements increases opportunities for innovation, replaces fragmented and à la carte thinking, and the role of design in improving the quality of life for both. replace it with a holistic attitude towards and the planet.
The pandemic has helped solidify remote work habits that were already beginning to take shape due to advances in technology and increased demands for work-life balance. But how do we understand the concept of flexibility in the context of sustainability and well-being? When it comes to flexibility, there is more than columnless floor plates and mobile furniture systems. It’s more than spatial reconfigurability.
Autonomy and choice
From an individual human perspective, flexibility is ultimately about choice, autonomy, and the agency an individual has, and although it can change, it also depends on professional preferences and physical comfort. It is also about having the mobility to move into new environments in a way that suits them. , and task requirements. In our evolving work culture, we understand that the traditional office is just one place of engagement in the larger work ecosystem. Our connection to work is at home, in the car, in a café, on the patio, even in the park, or during long stays abroad.
In the burgeoning virtual world, embracing the physical analog space around us is more important than ever. In this sense, advocating personal agency not only enables each of us to create more agile and optimal working conditions, but also the very human nature of being present in the spaces in which we live. It can also extinguish your desires.
By creating a network of usable outdoor spaces that are highly specific to the surrounding microclimate, we can introduce new ways of working into the workplace that cannot be replicated at home or in traditional office buildings.
Specifically, we can make the workplace more inviting and commutable by offering a variety of spatial, thermal, formal and acoustic environments that prioritize health and well-being. By creating a network of usable outdoor spaces that are highly specific to the surrounding microclimate, we can introduce new ways of working into the workplace that cannot be replicated at home or in traditional office buildings. Think of the direct connection to the static nature of a potted plant or the dynamic nature of a breeze. These have been shown to increase focus and provide overall cognitive benefits to humans experiencing them.
Outdoor space as workspace
The Arts District project employs a design concept qualified in Los Angeles and is regularly programmed, with approximately 20% of its fully leasable office area located outdoors, with sliding indoor/outdoor connections. I have. This design takes full advantage of the Southern California climate, with 75% sunshine and an average temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit. These office areas employ his three biophilic “building blocks”. A passive office covers an outdoor area and has a large controllable opening to the interior. Air-conditioned office, high-efficiency air-conditioned interior space.
Each block connects seamlessly with others, giving building users not just nooks and crannies, but whole environments that can be challenged to their liking throughout a given day. This integrated approach seamlessly connects meeting spaces and amenities so employees can choose where and how they work.
Take advantage of indoor-outdoor dynamics
A distinctive feature of Los Angeles’ Arts District is the abundance of warehouse-style roll-up doors that give pedestrians a glimpse into shops and artists’ studios. The Arts District concept incorporates this ‘open door’ concept to the upper floors, allowing conditional office tenants to selectively exhibit works in progress while connecting with the outside world, and creating a more open space for the office. Enlarge the space by connecting the physical properties to the neighborhood. Area for effective passive ventilation.
Passive offices are equipped similarly to air-conditioned offices, but use the heat content of concrete floors to absorb summer heat. Fans pull the cooled air upwards and past the occupants. In winter, radiant floors release heat and fans blow warm air back towards the occupants. On the outside, louvers circle the building and are optimized in position, size and spacing to mitigate extreme environmental conditions while preserving views.
In an outdoor, leafy office, plugs and IT access are present along with more casual seating. The courtyard is shaded by a photovoltaic array that provides approximately 20% of the building’s energy while blocking most of the lush office space. Movable shades and misters can be used in summer. In winter, hats, scarves and puffer jackets again become essential fashion accessories in the biophilic workplace.
Design strategies comprising these biophilic building blocks have the potential to reduce the operational energy load of the building. EUI reductions of up to 10% were predicted. In addition, the solar array will provide shade while also increasing the long-term resilience of the building as Southern California transitions from gas to electric, tackles growing demand for EV charging, and continues to upgrade power distribution throughout the system. support.
Incorporating biophilic design principles into your work environment can have enormous benefits for both you and the planet. You don’t have to work in Los Angeles to see these benefits. Every region has its own microclimate and working culture. The biophilic workplace component remains the same, but the rate of use can be adjusted to suit the local conditions in question. The details of their execution can also be fine-tuned.
Recognizing the symbiosis of sustainability and human well-being, we are able to create spaces that cater to the diverse needs and preferences of different individuals. Don’t just take a break. It’s about being free to go out for the work itself. This approach accommodates the modern workplace, where remote work and flexible schedules are becoming more common. It also meets the environmental need to reduce carbon footprint. By leveraging the natural tendencies and habits that emerged in this age of mobility, we can create a more inclusive, adaptable and responsive work environment to the needs of the people who use them.