Published In

RMI Solutions Newsletter

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2004


Architecture -- Human factors, Architecture -- Psychological aspects, Human ecology, Nature -- Effect of human beings on


Today, the technology and knowledge exists to create a building that touches the earth lightly during both construction and day-to-day operations. However, what has been often neglected by creators of low-impact “green” buildings is the need for spaces to be habitable. Occupants of built environments don’t want simply to work, play, eat, or sleep in a functional building. They want to be inspired, invigorated, comforted, and reassured by their surroundings. They want spaces that will make them more productive and healthy, and they want spaces in which they love to be—spaces that, as RMI’s Amory Lovins puts it, create “delight when entered, pleasure when occupied, and regret when departed.”

Over the past two years, RMI’s Green Development Services (GDS) has been examining the literature on biophilia and the built environment. In conjunction with Yale University, GDS is now seeking funding for a major multiyear initiative that will collect and disseminate defined and quantified information about “biophilic” design.


Originally appeared in RMI Solutions Newsletter, Volume 20, Issue 1, pages 7-11.

Published by the Rocky Mountain Institute. This and related work may be found at

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