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Biophilic design framework : structuring the relationship between exposure to nature and health benefits Alencar, Tatiana Abaurre 2013

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BIOPHILIC DESIGN FRAMEWORK: Structuring the relationship between exposure to nature and health benefits by Tatiana Abaurre Alencar B.Arch., Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, 2010  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF ADVANCED STUDIES IN ARCHITECTURE  in  The Faculty of Graduate Studies (Architecture)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) April 2013  © Tatiana Abaurre Alencar, 2013  Abstract ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––  Table of Contents ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––  Abstract ................................................................................................................... ii Table of Contents ................................................................................................. iii List of Tables ........................................................................................................ vii List of Figures ...................................................................................................... viii Glossary .................................................................................................................. ix Acknowledgements ............................................................................................ xiii Chapter 1 | Introduction: Building the human habitat .................................... 1 1.1 The Human-Nature Relationship .................................................................. 1 1.1.1 On the Idea that Contact with Nature Promotes Human Health ................. 1 1.1.2 The Need for Contact with Nature in an Urbanized World ........................... 2 1.1.2.1 Urbanization and the human-nature disconnection.............................................. 2 1.1.2.2 Biophilic design: incorporating nature into the built environment ................ 5 1.1.2.3 The missing link in green building design ................................................................. 6 1.1.2.4 Promoting pro-environmental behavior...................................................................... 7  1.2 This Thesis ........................................................................................................ 8 1.2.1 Research Motivation & Objectives .................................................................... 10 1.2.2 Thesis Structure ..................................................................................................... 12 1.2.3 Methodology.......................................................................................................... 14  Chapter 2 | Biophilic Design Now ..................................................................... 16 2.1 Introduction ................................................................................................... 16 2.1.1 Biophilic design background.............................................................................................. 16 2.1.2 Biophilic design in the context of green building ................................................... 18  2.2 Current Biophilic Design Lists and Tables ................................................. 22 2.2.1 Components of Biophilic Design ....................................................................... 23 2.2.1.1 Restorative environmental design ................................................................................ 23 2.2.1.2 Dimensions, elements and attributes ......................................................................... 24 2.2.1.3 Organic or naturalistic dimension ................................................................................ 26 2.2.1.4 Place or vernacular dimension....................................................................................... 27 2.2.1.5 Observations .......................................................................................................................... 29 2.2.2 The Three Pillar Concepts of Biophilic Design................................................ 30 2.2.2.1 Nature of the space ............................................................................................................ 30 2.2.2.2 Natural analogues ............................................................................................................... 31 2.2.2.3 Nature in the space ............................................................................................................ 32 2.2.2.4 Observations .......................................................................................................................... 33 2.2.3 Characteristics and Attributes of Biophilic Design ........................................ 34 2.2.3.1 Characteristics of biophilic design ............................................................................... 34 2.2.3.2 Attributes of nature in biophilic design .................................................................... 37 2.2.3.3 Observations .......................................................................................................................... 38 2.2.4 Strategies for Biophilic Design ........................................................................... 39 2.2.4.1 Observations .......................................................................................................................... 39  2.3 Concluding Thoughts ................................................................................... 41 Chapter 3 | Theoretical Background: The Links Between Contact with Nature and Health and Well-Being .................................................................. 42 3.1 Introduction ................................................................................................... 42 3.2 Theories on Environmental Preferences .................................................... 45 3.2.1 Biophilia Hypothesis ............................................................................................. 45 3.2.2 Savannah Hypothesis ........................................................................................... 51 3.2.3 Prospect and Refuge Theory .............................................................................. 53 3.2.4 Informational Perspective on Environmental Preference ............................. 55 3.2.5 Fractal Theory ........................................................................................................ 58  3.3 Theories on Psychological Restoration ...................................................... 59 3.3.1 Attention Restoration Theory............................................................................. 62 3.3.1.1 Empirical research ................................................................................................................ 66  3.3.2 Stress Recovery Theory........................................................................................ 68 3.3.2.1 Empirical research ................................................................................................................ 71 3.3.3 Recent Theoretical and Empirical Developments ........................................... 72 3.3.3.1 Perceptual fluency account ............................................................................................. 73 3.3.3.2 Cumulative effects assumption ..................................................................................... 74 3.3.3.3 Micro-restorative experiences and instorative effects ........................................ 76 3.3.3.4 Connectedness to nature ................................................................................................. 78  3.4 Emerging Themes within the Research in Restorative Environments .. 78 3.4.1 The important role of places of everyday life ............................................................ 79 3.4.2 Restoration needs as drivers for environmental preference ............................... 81 3.4.3 The influence of restoration needs on nature oriented preferences .............. 83 3.4.4 “Naturalness” as an indicator for restorative environments ................................ 84 3.4.5 Differences in individual responses to nature ............................................................ 90  3.4 Concluding Thoughts ................................................................................... 91 Chapter 4 | The Proposed Framework ............................................................. 95 4.1 Introduction ................................................................................................... 95 4.2 Initial Proposition for Framework .............................................................. 95 4.2.1 Acknowledging the different types of experience ................................................... 99 4.2.2 Organization of Kellert’s categories by types of experience ............................ 100 4.2.3 Acknowledging contextual factors ............................................................................... 101 4.2.4 Using health and well-being benefits as indicators ............................................. 102 4.2.5 Limitations of initial proposition ................................................................................... 103 4.2.6 Considerations for the next step................................................................................... 104  4.3 Proposed framework .................................................................................. 105 4.4 Inhabitant’s Needs ...................................................................................... 108 4.4.1 Identifying the Inhabitant’s Needs.................................................................. 110 4.4.2 Matching the Inhabitant’s Needs .................................................................... 111 4.4.2.1 Need for therapeutic health benefits ...................................................................... 112 4.4.2.2 Need to maintain and regulate health or preventive needs ........................ 112  4.5 Understanding Exposure ............................................................................ 113  4.5.1 Restorative Experience ....................................................................................................... 116 4.5.2 Micro-Restorative Experience ......................................................................................... 116 4.5.3 The implications of cumulative effects: discrete and repeated exposure .. 117  4.6 Structuring Biophilic Design Strategies ................................................... 118 4.6.1 Guiding Environmental Characteristics........................................................... 121 4.6.1.1 Characteristics of preferred environments ............................................................ 122 4.6.1.2 Characteristics of restorative environments .......................................................... 122 4.6.1.3 Overlapping within the environmental characteristics..................................... 123 4.6.2 Strategies for Contact with Nature ................................................................. 124 4.6.2.1 Direct contact with nature ............................................................................................ 124 4.6.2.2 Indirect contact with nature......................................................................................... 125 4.6.2.3 Symbolic contact with nature ..................................................................................... 126 4.6.2.4 Overlapping within the strategies for contact with nature ........................... 126 4.6.3 Relating to Health and Well-Being Benefits ................................................. 127 4.6.3.1 Psychological and physiological health benefits ................................................ 128  Chapter 5 | Conclusion ..................................................................................... 129 5.1 Contribution ................................................................................................. 129 5.1.1 Relationship between proposed framework and current biophilic design models .................................................................................................................................................. 130  5.2 Limitations .................................................................................................... 132 5.2.1 Limitations within the field .............................................................................................. 132 5.2.2 Limitations within the framework ................................................................................. 133  5.3 Further Research ......................................................................................... 133 References........................................................................................................... 136  List of Tables –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Table 2.1 – Correlation of key elements from LEED® credits in relation to Kellert et al.’s biophilic design guidelines ....................................................................... 19 Table 2.2 – Elements and attributes of biophilic design ........................................... 25 Table 2.3 – Nature of the space strategies ..................................................................... 31 Table 2.4 – Natural analogues strategies ......................................................................... 32 Table 2.5 – Nature in the space strategies ...................................................................... 33 Table 2.6 – Characteristics of biophilic buildings ......................................................... 36 Table 2.7 – List of attributes of nature .............................................................................. 37 Table 2.8 – Biophilic design strategies and Priorities ................................................. 40  List of Figures –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Figure 3.1 – Diagram of most relevant theories within the current theoretical perspectives on the human nature connection .............................................................. 44 Figure 4.2 – Framework proposition 1: Kellert-based framework ......................... 98 Figure 4.3 – Proposed framework ..................................................................................... 107 Figure 4.4 – First section of proposed framework: inhabitant’s need ............... 109 Figure 4.5 – Second section of the proposed framework: exposure ................. 115 Figure 4.6 – Third section of the proposed framework: biophilic design strategies........................................................................................................................................ 120 Figure 5.7 – Diagram of relationship between proposed framework and current biophilic design models .......................................................................................... 131  Glossary ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––  Affective Attention  Attention restoration theory (ART)  Biophilia  Biophilic Design  Built environment  Cognitive  DAF  Environmental preferences  Environmental psychology  Fascination  Fractal  Health  Instorative effects  Mental fatigue  Micro-restorative experiences  Natural environment  Natural landscape  Nature  Restoration  Restorative environment  Stress  Stress Recovery Theory (SRT)  Acknowledgements ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––  Chapter 1 | Introduction: Building the Human Habitat ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––  1.1 The Human-Nature Relationship 1.1.1 On the Idea that Contact with Nature Promotes Human Health  1.1.2 The Need for Contact with Nature in an Urbanized World 1.1.2.1 Urbanization and the human-nature disconnection        1.1.2.2 Biophilic design: incorporating nature into the built environment  1.1.2.3 The missing link in green building design  1.1.2.4 Promoting pro-environmental behavior          1.2 This Thesis          1.2.1 Research Motivation & Objectives              1.2.2 Thesis Structure  1.2.3 Methodology  Chapter 2 | Biophilic Design Now ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––  2.1 Introduction  2.1.1 Biophilic design background  2.1.2 Biophilic design in the context of green building                    2.2 Current Biophilic Design Lists and Tables          2.2.1 Components of Biophilic Design 2.2.1.1 Restorative environmental design  2.2.1.2 Dimensions, elements and attributes  2.2.1.3 Organic or naturalistic dimension  2.2.1.4 Place or vernacular dimension  2.2.1.5 Observations  2.2.2 The Three Pillar Concepts of Biophilic Design  2.2.2.1 Nature of the space  2.2.2.2 Natural analogues  2.2.2.3 Nature in the space  2.2.2.4 Observations  2.2.3 Characteristics and Attributes of Biophilic Design  2.2.3.1 Characteristics of biophilic design  2.2.3.2 Attributes of nature in biophilic design  2.2.3.3 Observations      2.2.4 Strategies for Biophilic Design  2.2.4.1 Observations  2.3 Concluding Thoughts  Chapter 3 | Theoretical Background: The Links Between Contact with Nature and Health and Well-Being ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––  3.1 Introduction  3.2 Theories on Environmental Preferences  3.2.1 Biophilia Hypothesis  3.2.2 Savannah Hypothesis            3.2.3 Prospect and Refuge Theory  3.2.4 Informational Perspective on Environmental Preference  3.2.5 Fractal Theory  3.3 Theories on Psychological Restoration  3.3.1 Attention Restoration Theory  3.3.1.1 Empirical research  3.3.2 Stress Recovery Theory          3.3.2.1 Empirical research  3.3.3 Recent Theoretical and Empirical Developments  3.3.3.1 Perceptual fluency account  3.3.3.2 Cumulative effects assumption  3.3.3.3 Micro-restorative experiences and instorative effects  3.3.3.4 Connectedness to nature  3.4 Emerging Themes within the Research in Restorative Environments  3.4.1 The important role of places of everyday life  3.4.2 Restoration needs as drivers for environmental preference  3.4.3 The influence of restoration needs on nature oriented preferences  3.4.4 “Naturalness” as an indicator for restorative environments  3.4.5 Differences in individual responses to nature  3.4 Concluding Thoughts            Chapter 4 | The Proposed Framework ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––  4.1 Introduction  4.2 Initial Proposition for Framework  4.2.1 Acknowledging the different types of experience        4.2.2 Organization of Kellert’s categories by types of experience        4.2.3 Acknowledging contextual factors        4.2.4 Using health and well-being benefits as indicators  4.2.5 Limitations of initial proposition          4.2.6 Considerations for the next step        4.3 Proposed framework        4.4 Inhabitant’s Needs  4.4.1 Identifying the Inhabitant’s Needs  4.4.2 Matching the Inhabitant’s Needs  4.4.2.1 Need for therapeutic health benefits  4.4.2.2 Need to maintain and regulate health or preventive needs  4.5 Understanding Exposure      4.5.1 Restorative Experience  4.5.2 Micro-Restorative Experience  4.5.3 The Implications of Cumulative Effects: Discrete and Repeated Exposure  4.6 Structuring Biophilic Design Strategies      4.6.1 Guiding Environmental Characteristics  4.6.1.1 Characteristics of preferred environments        4.6.1.2 Characteristics of restorative environments      4.6.1.3 Overlapping within the environmental characteristics  4.6.2 Strategies for Contact with Nature  4.6.2.1 Direct contact with nature  4.6.2.2 Indirect contact with nature  4.6.2.3 Symbolic contact with nature  4.6.2.4 Overlapping within the strategies for contact with nature  4.6.3 Relating to Health and Well-Being Benefits  4.6.3.1 Psychological and physiological health benefits      Chapter 5 | Conclusion –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 5.1 Contribution  5.1.1 Relationship between proposed framework and current biophilic design models  5.2 Limitations 5.2.1 Limitations within the field  5.2.2 Limitations within the framework  5.3 Further Research  References ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––  

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