The Financial Benefits of Biophilic Design in the Workplace
Review of current case studies and the potential benefits for real world application in the workplace can inform future decisions regarding facilities at the University of Chicago. It should be noted that there have been numerous studies conducted which have shown that windows and views of nature in hospital rooms have led to decreased patient recovery times and medication needs which in turn have cut down on costs for hospitals and have allowed for a greater number of patients to be served (Clark and Chatto, 2014). Only recently, however, have researchers begun to study how biophilia might be applied to the workplace and what benefits may be realized by incorporating biophilic design elements into office settings. It has quickly been discovered that there is a real and potentially very significant business case to be made for incorporating biophilic design into office spaces. While average businesses spend nine percent of their costs on renting space and one percent on energy, the overwhelming majority, 90%, of a business’s costs are spent on staff including salaries and benefits (Alker, Malanca, O’Brien, & Pottage, 2014). Therefore, any change implemented to lower staff costs by even a small percentage could translate to major savings and profit increases for businesses.