The nature of making buildings work


Ambius brings the outside in with launch of biophilia toolkit

With budgets for discretionary costs under scrutiny, Ambius, the world leader in enhancing buildings through planting, scenting and artwork, has launched a free Biophilia toolkit to explain the ways plants and natural elements should be used in building interiors to achieve maximum benefit. The Biophilia Toolkit, available from draws on scientific studies which show the link between closeness to nature and wellbeing. It provides key pointers for FM professionals on the techniques and tools they can use to help create environments in which people naturally feel engaged and productive.

The launch follows a recent survey by Ambius which identified that many British workers are lacking a connection with nature and this in turn, can impact wellbeing and productivity. Ambius found that 1 in 5 British workers never takes a lunch break away from the office*.

Highlighting 8 elements of interior landscape design, the toolkit offers an illustration of a workspace with clickable icons to explain different ways plants, as well as sound and smell can be used to enhance the environment.

The 8 elements of biophilic interior landscape design

  1. Create the feel of nature indoors through a degree of randomness and informality.
  2. Recreate the illusion of overlooking a landscape.
  3. Blur the boundary from outside to in.
  4. Create interest with light and shade through the foliage of interior plants.
  5. Use natural (and local) materials such as plant containers.
  6. Provide shelter and privacy.
  7. Incorporate the sound or sight of water.
  8. Use natural scents and perfumes to add an extra dimension.

Kenneth Freeman, International Technical Director for Ambius said: “Creating the right feel for a space can be frustratingly elusive. In many cases it’s because a connection with nature is missing. However, there are some simple techniques building designers can incorporate into design schemes that will offer that connection. The biophilia toolkit explains these tools and techniques in a very simple way, offering practical guidance on incorporating natural or nature-inspired elements into buildings to help people reconnect with the natural environment.

“Plants in particular are often treated an afterthought. If they are considered earlier in the design process there’s a better chance their benefits will be maximised. The beauty of plants is that they are truly multifunctional, they not only make us feel better, they can help remove toxins from the air, act as a cooling system and make great design statements.”

“The Biophilia toolkit is easy to use and provides a valuable ‘sense check’ when considering plants and their placement for buildings”, concludes Kenneth Freeman.


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