Biophilic Design looks beyond low impact construction and energy usage, seeking to generate buildings which come to be as part of nature and its lifecycles. In the spirit of Barry Commoner’s (1971) Four Laws of Ecology;

  1. Everything is connected to everything else
  2. Everything must go somewhere
  3. Nature knows best
  4. There is no such thing as a free lunch

Healthy, sustainable buildings should be designed as an extension of the natural realm, becoming positive agents that actively contribute towards their localities’ ecology, placeness and people.


From individual wellness to collective and planetary thrift.

Throughout his talk on Biophilic Design, Martin stressed the significance of interconnectivity and the urgency of immediate positive change. Martin sees the potential in architects and designers to become the “up-stream doctors” of society and the planet. By accounting for one person’s health and well-being, we take a step closer to forming healthier, happier, safer, more productive and creative communities which are respectful to each other and their homes from the neighbourhood level to the global.

Willmore Iles have been working with Habitat First Group for six years, a development company founded on the principles of creating sustainable holiday home communities which integrate and encourage a strong connection with nature; Our architecture on these sites enhances the visual and sensory aesthetics of its landscape, as well as its serviceability to human life by:

  1. Maximising the opportunities to connect with nature and the natural features, particularly the relationships with the lakes, long views and natural light.
  2. Minimising impact of construction through sensitive setting on a master planning scale that accounts for the particularities of existing topography, geology and water networks.
  3. Minimising embodied energy in construction through the choice of natural materials and the employment of air- and thermally-tight timber frame systems i.e SIPs.
  4. Inspiring a positive contribution to nature by dedicating areas of the masterplan solely to the flourishing of biodiversity.

We look forward to continuing to promote this way of living, to making a significant difference to the experiences of the occupiers.

For more information on Biophilic Design & Sustainability please see the reference list and bibliography below – courtesy of Martin Brown.

Commoner B. (1971) The Closing Circle: Nature, Man & Technology. Random House Inc. New York.
Brown M. (2019) fairsnape. Available from:
Brown M. (2016) FutuREstorative, Working Towards a New Sustainability. RIBA Publishing. London.

More Better – Affordable Housing in Wales see
Economics of Biophilia see
Bullitt Center see
see media papers at
and message from Denis Hayes –

Written by Robert Posted in Studio news
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