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Biophilia and Biophilic Design

How to get more of what you didn’t know you needed!

What do you think of when you hear the word “Biophilia”…? Don’t worry – it’s not something you can get arrested for. On the contrary, it’s something that is part of all of us

As humans, we are all inherently attracted to and responsive to being in and around natural, living environments. It simply means people are happier and healthier when surrounded by nature.

Initially popularized by E.O Wilson in the 1980s, the term biophilia has been defined as ‘love of life or living systems.’

Why that is important to us at First Pac West is that our Solace Longhouse addresses this directly – a number of the fundamental ‘biophilic design’ elements are included in the design and construction of our structures.

Biophilic Design Concepts

New terms can be a little bit disorienting sometimes – there is no great mystery to this idea. We can all improve our lives by finding ways to incorporate, or increase the amount of nature and natural, living things that we interact with. What’s fascinating is that simulated nature can have similar benefits if it’s not possible to create wholly natural environments.

Incorporating Direct Experience of Nature:

• Light• Air• Water & Plants
• Animals• Weather• Natural Landscapes and Ecosystems

Fostering Indirect Experience of Nature

• Images of Nature• Age, Change, and Patina of Time• Natural Geometries
• Biomimicry• Simulating Natural Light and Air• Information Richness
• Evoking Nature• Naturalistic Shapes and Forms• Mobility and Wayfinding
• Natural Materials• Cultural and Ecological Attachment to Place
•    Natural Colors 

Solace Longhouse

Having seen many, different workforce accommodation facilities based on the traditional, modular-trailer approach, Tammy Monsell, Founder and CEO of First Pac West, knew there had to be ‘a better way’ than this. Even before learning what biophilia was and why it is so important, her solution to the ‘better way’ problem – the Solace Longhouse – is intrinsically based on biophilic concepts.

Tammy is not only a believer of the concept, she recently received a certification in it from the Living Architecture Academy.

Our Longhouses incorporate natural wood products based on Cross-laminated Timber (CLT) and include high (50’) open-air atriums and large glazing walls allowing in significant amounts of natural light. The additional free spaces allow for the inclusion of natural living walls and water features. Interior landscaping creates the “outdoors, indoors” so that personnel accommodated in a Longhouse don’t have to be only in their room, in the dining room or at their workface. There are much healthier, happier places to socialize, or spend time on their own, without being completely isolated in a synthetic, cramped atmosphere. The Solace Longhouse automatically comes with features and benefits that we all inherently need.

If you are interested in learning more about Biophilia and Biophilic Design, please watch the following video.