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Perkins Eastman releases white paper on biophilic design in senior living

The paper highlights some of the firm's top projects that feature biophilic design, a sustainable architecture strategy that connects people with nature. 

May 16, 2016 |
Perkins Eastman releases white paper on impacts of Biophilic Design in senior living environments

Westminster Village in Scottsdale, Ariz. Photo courtesy Perkins Eastman

International design and architecture firm Perkins Eastman announced the publication of its latest white paper, “Biophilic Design: An Alternative Perspective for Sustainable Design in Senior Living,” co-authored by Associate Hillary DeGroff, IIDA, LEED AP ID+C, and Architect McCall Wood. 

The white paper examines biophilic design, studies the ways by which it lends focus to the topic of sustainability, and revisits the firm’s most successful projects to promote an understanding of the potential benefits of applying BD principles in senior living environments. The white paper is available for free download.

“Biophilic design is a focused area of research that brings people to the center of the sustainability discussion,” notes DeGroff and McCall. “It attempts to scientifically understand how people interact with their environment and, consequently, how their environment can be designed to better support them.”

While this idea has existed for nearly three decades, its use within the field of architecture has not been common practice until now. Establishing BD as a guiding principle throughout the design process, especially as it concerns senior living environments, is to recognize the imperative role the built environment plays in resident health, well-being, and quality of life.

According to the authors, “As designers, we can better understand how our environments impact us psychologically and physiologically to create architecture that promotes positive and transformative interactions. This white paper presents knowledge of how the brain and body respond to their environment and how the application of this knowledge helps demonstrate a commitment to sustainability.”

Among the spotlight projects used as case studies for this white paper are Camphill Ghent, Chatham, N.Y.; Moorings Park, Naples, Fla.; NewBridge on the Charles, Dedham, Mass.; North Chicago VA Community Living Centers, Chicago; Rockwood Retirement Community, Spokane, Wash.; Saint John’s on the Lake, Milwaukee; Sun City Park, Yokohama, Japan; and Westminster Village, Scottsdale, Ariz.

The white paper was produced and edited under Perkins Eastman’s Senior Living leadership team.

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