Article Biophilic Design: Bringing the Outside In

As humans, we have an inherent need to interact with nature. This need is referred to as biophilia, and it helps explain the soothing effects of burbling water and rolling hills, or the sense of wonder brought by a mountain view or a glance toward the night sky. Biophilia — and the importance of connecting with nature — has had a significant impact on the built environment.

 Biophilic Design: Bringing the Outside In


The Importance of Biophilic Design

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Americans spend nearly 90 percent of our time indoors, on average. Modern life has taken us away from beneficial contact with nature. As a result, biophilic design, which seeks to reconnect us to nature in buildings and cities, has become more and more important. It’s a powerful tool that can help people recharge so they feel and work better. Mimicking nature’s characteristics and bringing the outdoors inside is not a new concept; however, there is mounting evidence that demonstrates the positive impact biophilic design can have.

In the Human Spaces’ 2015 report, The Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace, employees in environments with natural elements reported a 15 percent higher level of well-being, were found to be 6 percent more productive, and 15 percent more creative overall. The use of color and texture influenced by nature can help reduce stress and promote feelings of wellness and relaxation.

Furthermore, “The Economics of Biophilia,” a report by Bill Browning et al. showed that integrating nature views into an office space can save over $2,000 per employee per year in office costs, whereas over $93 million could be saved annually in healthcare costs as a result of providing patients with views to nature.

Implementing biophilic design is immersing the principles of the natural world — the regrowth, the natural wonder — into a space so customers, patients, and employees feel the connection. Flooring contributes to biophilic design by replicating colors and textures found in nature, and by the sustainable attributes of the flooring itself. It’s in this manner that a well-designed portfolio of flooring products can provide the tools you need to create an inspiring and restorative space.

Integrated Design Across a Large Portfolio

Designing with biophilia in mind requires a holistic view of the entire space or building, and how elements will tie together. A consistent design theme is important, and Continuum Solutions helps ensure you can find the right flooring solution in the right color and format to align with your theme.

Continuum Solutions aggregates colors and patterns, from luxury flooring to commercial sheet, that work well together visually. Combining unique and distinctive patterns, colors, and textures throughout large spaces helps define branded spaces or provide visual appeal while still maintaining a design theme. Continuum Solutions is the result of intentional work by our Design Team, with customer needs at the forefront.

“I want customers to have the tools available they need to inspire and create great spaces. I want them to have the right colors, in the right product category,” says Razieh Council, Armstrong Flooring Principal Designer. “When working on each collection, I create a design strategy and analyze trends so the end product fits the target application, whether that’s healthcare, education, corporate, or retail.”

Bio-Flooring to Meet Biophilic Design Needs

Our newest offering is the perfect example of design inspired by nature – and a powerful combination of Continuum Solutions and the biophiliic design trend. Striations and Migrations BBT with Diamond 10 Technology coating were carefully curated as complementary collections — a sophisticated palette of rich, organic tones, coupled with modular installation options to give you optimum design flexibility. This bio-flooring solution is made with a unique plant-based, PVC-free composition that reduces the reliance on petroleum and fossil fuels. Not only do the colors complement biophilic design, but the product’s makeup is ideal for spaces with a focus on sustainability.

Striations and Migrations BBT colors coordinate beautifully, and color names between the two collections are a nod to the complementary palettes. Whether it’s Green Leaf and Lilly Pad, or Caribbean Sea and Seaside, there are a host of combinations to help you create a beautiful biophilic design. And as part of Continuum Solutions, these two collections can be paired with products across our portfolio for a cohesive look regardless of the flooring type that a space demands.

Protected by Diamond 10 Technology, our bio-flooring delivers category-leading scratch, stain, and scuff resistance. A sustainable, PVC-free, low maintenance flooring solution that can check all the boxes for biophilic design. Let your imagination run wild amongst rolling hills and babbling brooks — all indoors in a nature-inspired space.