Biophilic Gyms and Lighting

Biophilic spaces are becoming increasingly popular. The power of nature and it’s positive benefits are being recognised in many different sectors.

Biophilia in design draws on the innate connection we have to nature by creating spaces that bring us closer to the natural world. By using plants, natural resources, textures and light, a space can be transformed.

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Biophilic spaces are having real and positive affects across many different sectors. For example, in workplaces, wellness has become an important consideration.

Key studies show increases across 3 important areas that can be attributed to biophilic workplaces:

15% increase in well-being
6% increase in productivity
15% increase in creativity

In Hospitality, an industry that measures revenue per bed and calculates the cost of rooms to the penny, recent research studies have looked into the effects of hotel guest rooms that have a view to water, and the results were significant:

Prices on average were 11%-18% higher than rooms without a view to water
Price premiums can also be up to 12% higher for rooms with a view to nature when compared to rooms without a view
Guests spend 36% more time in biophilic hotel lobbies than in convential lobbies

In summary, research indicates that biophilically designed spaces improve:

Mental engagement

Biophilia is now coming to the gym scene as well and it’s a perfect match for a sector so geared towards health, fitness and overall well-being.

Startup company Biofit is a fitness and interior design company that creates what it calls “biophilic gyms” – essentially creating a natural space full of plants and natural materials to create an indoor ‘outdoor’ gym.

Gyms typically aren’t very inspiring places as they often feel industrial, almost clinical and very cold. Training indoors doesn’t give you the hit of happy hormones that training outdoors can give.

So gyms that focus on biophilia can really set themselves apart by providing a place to train that connects you to nature and gives you that natural boost without having to go outside in the freezing cold and rain!

Taking this thinking forward, it’s important to ensure that there are effective lighting solutions in these types of biophilic spaces.

In a lighting context, biophilic design is about using sympathetic lighting to enhance biological elements, thereby amplifying their effect on the human senses. This is especially so in a gym environment.

Key Lighting Considerations For Gymnasiums

Use of indirect lighting
Reduce glare, reduce fatigue, introduce natural elements to work with a biophilic theme.

Attract clientele who are discerning and modern in their outlook. Use of sustainable sources, LED lighting (low carbon footprint) and responsible design.

The latest trend of biophilia is very applicable to gyms and wellness spas, with its ‘back to nature’ feel and an energising influence.

Living Walls
In conjunction with biophilia, Living Walls are incredibly calming and fulfilling, and a great addition to such spaces as gyms.

Lighting must have ability to be raised to strong levels for cleaning, maintenance and emergencies.

Reflections / Angles of Incidence
Lighting must be carefully located and chosen to avoid glaring reflections in mirrors or to cause dazzle for persons using horizontal equipment.

Use of astronomic timeclocks and simple dimming technology can allow the lighting to be changed automatically in intensity and hue throughout the day/evening.

A high colour rendering index in LED light sources will bring out the best hues in timber and finishes, as well as ensuring clientele look and feel healthy and well.

Biophilic design continues to penetrate new sectors and it’s exciting to see where it can go next. Lighting these spaces will always be a key consideration and one in which Xavio continues to lead.