18 October 2017

Biophilic Design and Mechanical and Electrical Engineering

In recent years the construction industry has attempted to minimise its impact on the environment through sustainable design, yet continues to develop cities and buildings that alienate us from the natural world.

Biophilic design is based on the theory that we have evolved for 99% of our history in adaptive response to the natural world and these natural features and processes are vital to human health, fitness and wellbeing. Biophilic design seeks to satisfy our inherent need to affiliate with nature in the modern built environment.

Research and Benefits of Biophilic Design
This theory is supported by a growing body of research with proven benefits including; improved productivity and creativity for office workers; improved rates of learning, test results and concentration levels in education centres and reduced recovery times for hospital patients.

Biophlic Design in Practice
In practice, Biophilic Design is about incorporating nature into the built environment and strengthening a connection with it through techniques such as providing natural light, views to nature, use of natural materials and incorporation of plants and water features.

Biophilic Design and M&E Engineering
Mechanical and Electrical Engineers can help to implement principles of biophilic design through things such as daylighting and natural ventilation. Daylighting - the use of natural rather than artificial light, connects a buildings occupants to the natural rhythms of the outside world, helping to regulate circadian cycles and foster feelings of connection. Electrical Engineers can help design daylighting strategies for buildings, resulting in improved occupant productivity and comfort as well as substantial energy savings.

Similarly, Mechanical Engineers can help to design natural ventilation, heating and cooling strategies. Increased natural air-flow can prevent sick building syndrome, with studies showing it reduces symptoms such as headaches and eye-irritation with increased productivity gains of up to 18%.
At J.V. Tierney & Co. we have a team of Environmental Engineers who design sustainable buildings which have positive outcomes for both the environment and occupants. If you would like to discuss this further, give us a call on 01 421 4900 or visit our website www.jvtierney.ie for more information.