fbpx

Why Biophilic Design Matters

Since Optima’s founding, we have thoughtfully developed environments where nature and architecture coexist. This principle of sustainability – known throughout architecture as biophilic design – is becoming increasingly popular across the world throughout all types of built environments.

The process of biophilic design isn’t anything new to the world of architecture; however, in recent years, the design principle has seen a renaissance. Today, biophilic design is used within modern architecture as a method to fulfill the inherent connection between humans and nature. 

Because our natural habitats have increasingly become built environments, designers and architects have discovered the significant value of adding biophilic elements into all kinds of structures to enhance the relationship between natural and built environments. The framework for designing these biophilic environments consists of employing both direct and indirect experiences of nature. Direct experiences incorporate everything from natural light, fresh air and organic landscapes, while indirect experiences include utilizing natural materials and colors and ecological attachments to a location. Everything from skylights to green walls to fountains all apply the conventions attached to the design principle. 

Health Benefits

Beyond creating connectivity to natural environments, biophilic design also supplies an ample amount of benefits to both its surroundings and those who inhabit them. One of the most prolific benefits attached to the design principle is the improvement of air quality. Designs that employ vibrant greenery absorb the natural toxins in the air, ultimately enhancing the atmosphere.

Having access to vegetation and other models of biophilia also has a direct impact on happiness and wellbeing. When design principles like natural light and ventilation are introduced into built environments, a greater appreciation forms – establishing a more welcoming, advantageous space. 

Biophilic Design in Optima

Throughout our communities at Optima, we use biophilic design to improve the lives of our residents and complement their beautiful surroundings and communities. In our latest project, Optima Lakeview, we’re employing biophilic design throughout many elements of the architecture.

The development features a stunning atrium that includes our signature vertical landscaping system within it. At the atrium’s top, an expansive skylight fills the space below it with an abundance of natural light. Optima Lakeview is also home to a variety of private terraces and setbacks featuring lush vegetation and ensuring residents a seamless transition from outdoor to indoor environment.

From the materials used in construction to the greenery placed throughout a building, more and more architects are discovering how to include biophilic design within their builds, connecting their built environment with the natural world around them.

A Brief History of Irrigation

Lush, verdant landscapes are a cornerstone of Optima communities. We’ve spent years of research and application honing our landscaping, arriving today at an innovative vertical planting system that incorporates self-containing irrigation and drainage. But just what is irrigation, why is it so important and how did we arrive at this solution? Today, we’re taking a closer look at the history of irrigation.

While our own landscaping research has gone on for decades, the history of irrigation dates back at least 8,000 years. The earliest known systems of irrigation originated in Egypt and Mesopotamia in 6,000 B.C. Fighting against the flooding of the Nile several months each year, ancient civilizations pioneered a technique to divert flood waters to nearby crop fields, thereby utilizing excess flood water for crops that would otherwise be difficult to grow due to lack of resources.  

This ancient technique is credited as the basis of agricultural economies and societies across the world. As the process of applying controlled amounts of water to plants at needed intervals, irrigation aids in growing agricultural crops and maintaining vegetation in a way that conserves water, preserves soil nutrients and saves time and energy. 

Before the Egyptian and Mesopotamian approach, primitive irrigation likely involved laborers carrying buckets of water from rivers and wells to water their crops. Increased innovation to control water flow where desired included innovations such as irrigation canals, dams, dikes, aqueducts and water storage facilities. 

Nowadays, modern irrigation systems have evolved to include reservoirs, tanks and wells, with reservoirs serving to collect water from natural sources such as lakes and rainwater runoff. As our global agricultural output continues to rise, irrigation protects against droughts and famines, ensuring successful and widespread crop yields. 

Self-contained Irrigation at Optima Sonoran Village
Self-contained Irrigation at Optima Sonoran Village

At Optima Kierland Apartments and Optima Sonoran Village, our self-containing irrigation and drainage system enables a palette of vibrantly colored plants at the edge of each floor to grow both up and over the edge of the building, culminating in a beautiful rooftop garden. Thanks to the innovations of many civilizations before us, these gardens are easy to maintain, and a beautiful natural respite for all our residents to enjoy.

person name goes here

Maintenance Supervisor

Glencoe, IL





    Acceptable file types: *.pdf | *.txt | *.doc, max-size: 2Mb