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Valuing Public Perceptions of Biophilia Impact on Human Well-Being: 2 Sustainable Building Case Studies from Greece and India

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Part of the Advances in Science, Technology & Innovation book series (ASTI)

Abstract

This study focusses on valuing the ‘green technologies’ of designing and building with nature to encourage a wider dimension to the current ratings and evaluations of effectiveness of ‘green buildings’, by including the perceived impact on human well-being. The authors believe that for buildings to offer a ‘sustainable’ way of living, they must also include the technologies and intelligence to provide what all of life needs to thrive beyond just surviving. This study aims to give a wider understanding of ‘green buildings’ beyond reporting on energy, water and waste, to show a more sophisticated, wider evaluation of sustainable buildings by including the value of subjective perception of individuals’ experience, and, to contribute to changing existing paradigms about how ‘green buildings’ are valued. Other studies conclude that leading bodies for ‘green building’ certification have failed to provide a holistic measure of sustainable buildings. Current environmental measures of ‘green buildings’ conflict with the values of human health and there are conflicting ‘logics’ and technologies with little consensus on what defines a sustainable building. The perceived ‘value’ of the health and well-being benefits of a ‘green building’ appear to be disregarded as a measure of effectiveness; this chapter challenges that view. Findings from questionnaires and testimonials from the public using two green buildings in different countries suggest that people do believe that they experience physical and emotional health benefits from spending time in green buildings. Specifically, it related to their perception of the reduction of stress and anxiety. This suggests that valuing the ‘unmeasurable’ perceived benefits of sustainable buildings on health and well-being, equally alongside quantitative audits and environmental measures, could bring combined societal and environmental benefits. More research and evaluation with larger samples, more complex data collection, over longer time periods in different countries is necessary to build on the initial findings of this novel study. Further research could make an important contribution to greater understanding about the positive impacts of biophilia design for healthcare institutions, education buildings, community spaces, workplaces and homes.

Keywords

  • Biophilia
  • Bioclimatic
  • Green building
  • Sustainability
  • Health
  • Nature
  • Greece
  • India
  • Placebo

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Disclosure Statement

The authors declare S. M. Jackson as the owner of ESA and T. Doshi as an architect of Sharanam.

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Appendices

Appendix 1: Survey Questionnaire

figure a

Appendix 2: NVIVO Word Cloud from Analysis of Respondents’ Text

figure b

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Jackson, S.M., Singh, L., Doshi, T. (2021). Valuing Public Perceptions of Biophilia Impact on Human Well-Being: 2 Sustainable Building Case Studies from Greece and India. In: Trapani, F., Mohareb, N., Rosso, F., Kolokotsa, D., Maruthaveeran, S., Ghoneem, M. (eds) Advanced Studies in Efficient Environmental Design and City Planning. Advances in Science, Technology & Innovation. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-65181-7_16

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