What is Biophilic Design and How Can Glazing Help?

floor to ceiling glass walls for uninterrupted views in biophilic architecture

How to use glazing to achieve a biophilic architectural design 

Biophilic design started as an interior design trend, based around forging a strong connection to nature from within the home, incorporating living plants and natural materials. The trend has grown steadily and evolved into an architectural trend as well as an interior trend, using large elevations of glazing to maximise the natural light within the home.

biophilic design using steel framed glazing in orangery

Natural light is a great way to create a biophilic design and is proven to have both physical and mental benefits for a building’s occupants including improving productivity and general wellness, as well as helping to regulate sleep patterns and improve human circadian rhythm. The best way to maximise natural light within the home is to incorporate frameless or slim framed glazing systems, creating uninterrupted paths of natural light throughout the day.

frameless roof glazing creating biophilic design in contemporary interior design

Frameless glazing can be specified using our Invisio system, the UK’s first thermally broken structural glazing system on the market. Invisio was designed to offer architects unparalleled performance values whilst maintaining an extremely minimal design. There are a wide range of applications made possible by Invisio including frameless picture windows, gable end windows and bespoke shaped glass windows. The fixing details are completely concealed within the building finishes for the most minimal design, leaving no visible frame or fixings.

contemporary new build with oversized glazing and natural wood cladding for biophilic design

Floor to ceiling, oversized windows are perfect for creating a biophilic architectural design. These can be designed to any shape or size, due to the bespoke nature of structural glazing. South facing windows will capture the most light throughout the day, so it’s important to consider the orientation of the windows as well as the size and amount of natural light. For any large, south facing elevations of glass, we recommend solar control glass to eliminate the risk of overheating in highly glazed spaces. Solar control coatings allow large elevations of frameless glazing to be functional as well as modern and minimal.

internal glass courtyard creating biophilic design in modern home

Another glazing trend that can be incorporated to create a biophilic design is internal glass courtyards or lightwells. Outside plants can be designed to sit within the glazed courtyards, introducing a slice of nature into the home. These bespoke glass designs can be engineered with frameless structural glazing for a seamless design, or with opening elements such as slim framed sliding glass doors. If sliding door systems are used to create an internal glass courtyard, the two environments can be merged to create an indoor-outdoor environment. 

structural glass roof creating biophilic design in glass box extension

One way to introduce floods of natural light into the home is roof glazing, which can include any horizontal glazed elements from full structural glass roofs to sliding opening rooflights. Opening rooflights can also be used to create a biophilic design, opening up the roof to enjoy sky views and enhanced ventilation. Biophilic design can also refer to garden/outdoor access, which can be achieved through sliding rooflight systems such as the MARS or HERA, both automated opening rooflights that are perfect for roof garden access.

To speak to a member of the team about a project following a biophilic design, get in touch with us at hello@iqglassuk.com.

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Rebecca is Head of Marketing at the IQ Group and has worked in glazing specification for many years. She has a broad range of technical knowledge about all our glazing products and offers technical advice and guidance to architects for specification. Her easy to digest technical advice is often quoted in magazines and publications. You might also recognise her as one of the IQ Glass CPD presenters.