The Economics of Biophilia shares examples of small investments involving very low or no up-front cost, such as providing employees access to plants, natural views, daylight, and other biophilic design elements. These measures provide very healthy returns. Integrating views to nature into an office space can save over $2,000 per employee per year in office costs, whereas over $93 million could be saved annually in healthcare costs as a result of providing patients with views to nature.
In the three years since the publication of The Economics of Biophilia, the scientific understanding of the health benefits of a connection to nature within the built environment has continued to advance. Numerous studies continue to explore this topic, with many notable findings. In particular, recent work by a team at Stanford University found that a walk in nature versus in an urban setting led to lower rates of rumination and activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex, which can help prevent depression (Bratman et al., 2015). Similarly, work by a team at University of Melbourne, found that a 40 second view of green roof versus a gravel/tar roof was enough to restore focus (Lee, K. et al., 2015). (2015) (October) by Terrapin Bright Green.
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