Biophilic buildings in education

‘Biophilic’ is a term used to describe the connectivity individuals have to the natural environment, through direct and indirect nature, open space, and light conditions. It is well known that increased serotonin levels are great for psychological benefits – the reason why we all walk with a spring in our step when the sun is out! However, did you know it also affects appetite, digestion and sleep regulation?

Research has shown that dark or windowless rooms with little access to the outdoors can be highly unproductive and damaging to children’s mental health, and as one of the leading Sustainable Childcare providers in the UK, Tops is passionate about ensuring our learning spaces are inspirational. Tops are proud to have two (soon to be three!) eco-cabins at our Portsmouth and Lakeside nurseries, which not only look fantastic but also have the lowest carbon footprint of any other commercially available building.

Both our Biophilic ‘eco’ buildings are complete with cladding which will fade naturally and without chemicals to match the existing building; 80% recycled insulation, double-glazed, low emissivity glass, pre-insulated flooring with 80% recycled mineral wool, air source heat pump and LED lighting.

By incorporating natural elements into our buildings, we focus on maximising educational play, natural light and providing views of nature. All of our award winning nurseries are filled with creative resources such as wooden construction sets, magnifying glasses and many other stimulating activities we selectively source. Our nurseries follow a neutral colour scheme, and as a result, our children are focused, curious, and more connected with their environment and nature around them.

At Tops, we follow a curiosity approach to learning which encourages our children to be free and experimental in their safe learning space and the outdoor world, no matter what the weather. We have found that in these calm and natural environments, our children thrive and our dedicated nursery teams work effectively with the children to become enthusiastic, confident, and responsible individuals. When you open up classroom walls, the opportunities can be endless!

Posted in: Education, General, Going green