Understanding Biophilia and Biophilic Environments for LBC and WELL Certification

We speak anecdotally about nature's therapeutic effects on our lives. What does science tell us about humans' relationships with nature, and how does that relate to the work we do?


Some hypothesize that humans evolved to connect with nature, and research suggests this connection remains instrumental to our health, productivity, and well-being. That understanding has brought the concept of biophilia (the "love of life or living systems") to the forefront when it comes to creating healthy built environments.

Both the Living Building Challenge and WELL Building Certifications require the creation of biophilic environments. Through this presentation, you'll better understand the concept of biophilia, the research and data that support it, and the strategies for integrating biophilia into your work.

Position your projects to meet certification requirements—and gain insights into human experience you can share with clients or around the dinner table.

Learning objectives

  • Discover and experience BIOPHILIA as an innate human evolutionary survival imperative. They will recognize that BIOPHILIA is something we comprehend as a biological organism and this understanding will influence their design decisions in the future.
  • List the evidence-based scientific data underlying BIOPHILIA as it relates to human health and well-being, including current research from the fields of evolutionary biology, neuroscience, immunology, behavioral ecology, and environmental psychology.
  • Define BIOPHILA as the tool, which allows sustainability to move into the realm of sustainable human health and well-being, resulting in highly adaptive and highly resilient integrated systems for a restorative human habitat.
  • Identify BIOPHILIA as the core of the Living Building Challenge, as the foundation of the WELL Building Standard and to utilize BIOPHILIC STRATEGIES to create mutually reinforcing, interconnected and integrated architectural solutions
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 $45  non-member
 $30  member
1.00 LU
  • HSW
  • GBCI
  • RIBA


  • Elizabeth Calabrese


    Principal Architect and Educator

    Elizabeth Freeman Calabrese, AIA, LEED AP, has been in the design industry over for 30 years. She...
  • Helena van Vliet


    Principal Architect / Educator / Planner

    Helena van Vliet, AIA is a Biophilic Architect, Researcher, and Speaker on Health and the Built...