Assessment of Biophilic Features in Residential Buildings in Dubai

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The quality of living is an essential aspect of human health and well-being. One of those qualities is establishing a connection to nature and exposing humans to natural systems. In addition, biophilic design has been proven to improve the well-being of people. This research will be a leading guide to integrating biophilic design for Gulf region residential buildings. It will pave the way for future research and application of a greener Dubai that can be followed in other Emirates and Gulf countries. The study explored the difference in people’s satisfaction with biophilic features in residential building types to identify new strategies that can promote more human-nature connections. Surveys and interviews were the methodologies used. The results showed that the overall satisfaction with biophilic features was high. However, there was a significant difference in satisfaction of ability to control the artificial light between villas and townhouses and villas and high-rises, respectively. Also, the metrics showed low satisfaction with the access to the greenery in high-rise buildings compared to townhouses and villas. In high-rise buildings, the strategies proposed showed that more than 75% accepted the ability to open and close their balconies according to season. In addition, over 82% agreed to utilize an outdoor shaded roof garden, and almost 78% agreed to participate in indoor vertical farming. Moreover, 63% accepted joining clubs that promote environmental events, and over 75% agreed to participate in outdoor recreational activities that educate people about native flora and fauna. Finally, the interviews with different stakeholders showed an inclination toward incentive programs rather than obligations that could be managed by Dubai Municipality. Most importantly, consider that biophilic design is not typical; it is a case-by-case scenario. These results show the high potential integration of the proposed solutions in Dubai’s architecture.
biophilic design, biophilic solutions, residential buildings, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Gulf region, artificial light, architecture