Architectural engineer Daan Bruggink about Biophilic architecture in educational establishments

17 February 2021

In the Green Talk series from Mobilane, experts get the opportunity to talk about their expertise. This time, Daan Bruggink from ORGA Architect talks about biophilic architecture and its importance in educational establishments.

“It is remarkable that school buildings are amongst the poorest quality buildings: old, uninsulated, too cold, too hot and too much CO2”. According to Daan, a lot can be gained from school development. In our children’s built world, classrooms and outbuildings, biophilic design should be self-evident. Our brains, and therefore also the developing brains of our children, have evolved by discovering and exploring our natural environment. Instinctive responses to the natural world are deeply rooted in the human psyche. We are all psychologically programmed to react to materials, surfaces, animals, greenery, shapes, temperature, humidity, air, sound, light, shadow, weather, sun, seasons, daily routine, etc.

Mobilane Green Screens green my school air

Biophilic principles to improve performance and well-being

Biophilic design principles should be self-evident in educational buildings. Schools should consider biophilic principles as a simple means of improving the academic performance of the children as well as improving the well-being of their employees. Daily exposure to natural elements is one of the important factors in the quality of a learning or working environment and an effective and holistic way to make children and adults function better. An environment that improves well-being and morale, whilst reducing staff turnover and increasing productivity results in higher levels of satisfaction and therefore better retention of staff and students. Costs for absenteeism, recruitment, extra staff and support will be lower.

Biophilic School 007

Biophilic design principles

Biophilic design is an approach to architecture that connects the users of the building more closely to nature. These buildings incorporate natural lighting and ventilation, natural landscape features and other elements to create a more productive and healthier built environment.

Architectural engineer Daan Bruggink

Daan designs based on the belief and biophilic vision that with natural reusable materials you not only create beautiful sustainable buildings but also ensure an organic balance in which people, flora and fauna can co-exist, live and work optimally. Daan Bruggink founded ORGA Architect in 2007 with one vision: Biophilic and biobased building is the future.

With courage, passion and verve over the past 2 decades, Daan has broken down existing conventions and working methods in construction, instead of putting the focus on a transition to fossil-free, healthy buildings with circularity. As the Chair of the New Build and Renovation Advisory Group for BREEAM-NL at DGBC, he has worked at a national level to promote circular construction building and to better align the construction sector with the current developments towards a circular economy. These activities have not gone unnoticed and have bestowed great recognition and awards to Daan and ORGA Architect.


Daan Bruggink