Quantitative improvement in workplace performance through biophilic design: A pilot experiment case study

Julia Ayuso Sanchez, Toshiharu Ikaga, Sergio Vega Sanchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Numerous studies endorsed by the scientific community affirm that biophilic design in the workplace improves productivity and user well-being. However, it is necessary to go a step further and objectify the design criteria serving as an operator for productivity and well-being in design practice. In response to the challenges of how to measure the improvement of productivity and well-being through biophilic architecture design, the main contribution of this article is the development of a tool that allows to measure the predicted feature that improve productivity and well-being, based on a scientific method, which is tested by conducting a pilot experiment. A scheduled pilot experiment, as a small-scale version done in preparation for a major study, has been conducted to test a tool that quantifies the impact of biophilic design features on performance and well-being, to evaluate the influence of variables such as greenery and daylight on improving workplace performance, and look at biophilic design knowledge in greater depth. The role of natural indoor environments - understood as spaces within buildings provided with elements of nature - has received relatively little attention, compared to the number of studies evaluating occupant impact related to other characteristics of indoor environments derived from mechanical and electrical systems such as thermal factors, noise and vibration, ergonomics and office design. The present study is one of the first studies evaluating and measuring the combination of greenery and daylight into a biophilic design proposal. The results highlight an improvement in well-being, performance, creativity and health by introducing daylight and greenery into workplace design such as biophilic design features. The tool developed and tested in this pilot experiment opens a way to improve measured workplace performance to a much greater extent in contrast to the existing practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-328
Number of pages13
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct 15


  • Biophilia
  • Health
  • Performance
  • Pilot experiment
  • Well-being
  • Workplace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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