Mobile Tour: Biophilic Design in Action

APA National Capital Area Chapter


Thursday, October 5, 2017
2 p.m. - 4 p.m. EDT

CM | 1.50

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This tour highlights three DC projects that embody biophilic design, an emerging discipline/approach within the fields of architecture and urban design. Biophilic design taps into "biophilia," the innate human affinity with nature, to create more resilient urban spaces and healthier buildings. The tour will begin with an introduction to biophilic design and continue with tours of exterior and interior spaces of these innovative projects.

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has recently completed an office renovation that includes biophilic elements such as plants, lighting, natural wood, fibers, materials and patterns that are used throughout the interior and exterior to nurture an innate connection to nature. ASLA’s green roof not only reduces heating and cooling needs and storm water run-off, but also provides human social benefits such as a safe, restorative urban oasis and educational community space.

Law firm Nixon Peabody designed their space to embody their values on sustainability and social responsibility – including promoting human health and well-being. Their biophilic strategies include liberal use of wood in a natural state, a large living wall, distant views, abundant natural light, and quiet space when needed.

The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum headquarters features wood walls from salvaged Sweet Gum wood, views of the outdoors for 98% of occupants, furniture made from local trees, a running water feature that cleans and dehumidifies air, and an abundance of plants and other natural materials. These biophilic elements aim to connect USGBC’s staff to nature in their workspace.


Stella Tarnay,

Confirmed Speaker


Ana Ka’ahanui

Confirmed Speaker

Aloha! Since I started at USGBC in 2003, I have had the pleasure of working in various departments across the organization. I started in the Education and Research department, managing LEED workshops and curriculum development. Then I served on the Facilities team, supporting the operations and maintenance of our office ... Read More

Linette Straus

Confirmed Speaker

Linette Straus, ASLA, ISA, is currently a Professional Practice Manager at the American Society of Landscape Architects where she manages The Chinatown Green Street Demonstration Project and Green, Complete Street Sourcebook as well as the promotion and services for ASLA on sustainability and green infrastructure. She also develops education and ... Read More

Ken Wilson

Confirmed Speaker

Ken Wilson was the founding principal of Envision, a design firm focused on environmental responsibility acquired by Perkins+Will in 2012. Ken’s work includes a variety of project types in the areas of architecture, interiors, graphics, and product design, and his clients include several of the nation’s leading ... Read More

Contact Info

Katie Spencer,