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MIT MSRED Alum Featured in WSJ

Bill Browning ‘91, Founding Partner of Terrapin Bright Green, is Known as Leading Expert in Biophilic Design

“The Future of Cities (A Special Report) — Green Buildings. Literally: ‘Biophilic’ designs incorporate elements of nature both outside and inside. It’s aesthetically pleasing — and makes people feel, and perform, better.”



Wells, Ken . Wall Street Journal , Eastern edition; New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y] 27 June 2018:


Most people, when they think of “green” buildings, take that to mean structures built with energy conservation in mind. But, increasingly, buildings are becoming literally green, as cities and companies around the world embrace biophilic design — the concept of surrounding buildings with nature, even on their upper floors, and bringing the outdoors indoors by including natural elements in their interior design. Planted terraces that wrap around buildings, indoor man – made water features such as ponds and waterfalls, plantings that can cover entire interior walls, cascades of windows to maximize natural light–all are key elements of biophilic design, as are expanded views of nature itself.  Aesthetics are clearly a driver of the biophilic movement, but it is also motivated by the bottomline.


Biophilic design can result in significant energy savings, and research indicates that employees in buildings designed with biophilic elements not only feel better about their workplace but perform better, too. For example, a landmark 2003 study of 100 employees in a call center of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District showed that workers who sat with views of nature handled up to 12% more calls per hour than those who had no view.


Clif Bar & Co.’s state -of-the-art bakery in Twin Falls, Idaho, is in the vanguard of the movement. Its profusion of windows, skylights and tubes designed to bring sunlight deep into building interiors bathe the facility in gentle natural light. Wall-size projections of nature bring images of mountains, rivers and forests into the bakery’s core. An imposing stone interior corridor is designed to mimic the Snake River Canyon, one of the most stunning geographic features of the West. And there are plants everywhere: Low-maintenance plants decorate the light-filled common areas where workers gather, giving these indoor spaces an outdoor feel…

Bill Browning
, a founding partner of Terrapin Bright Green, a New York-based consulting firm focused on sustainable development, is among America’s leading biophilic experts. He has been consulting with companies including Walmart and Marriott International’s Westin Hotels &Resorts to bring biophilic design into their building plans Walmart teamed up with Mr. Browning as he first began to explore how bringing elements like abundant natural light into retail workspaces could improve not only productivity but also sales. From experiences with a prototype green store that featured abundant natural light, the company began to find that sales per square foot were significantly higher for departments located in the daylit sections of stores than in those with artificial light, according to a joint report by Mr. Browning and the company…(READ MORE)