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Thirsty Thursday: Glazing - An Integral Part of Biophilic Design

August 26, 2021
Logo for NGA Thirsty Thursday webinars

This webinar is a special feature of the live presentation given on Tuesday, August 17 as part of NGA's Glass and Glazing Design Academy, in partnership with Architectural Record. If you are an architect or designer and are seeking credit for this session, please take the session quiz as posted in the Design Academy.

Session Topic

Glazing: An Integral Part of Biophilic Design

Learning Objectives:

  • Define the tenets of biophilic design and its impact on human physiology and well-being.
  • Describe two ways that daylighting can affect occupant comfort and productivity.
  • Explain how glass elevates and facilitates the goals of biophilic design and daylighting.
  • Analyze how glazing materials might be used to shape the human experience of the built environment, now and in the future.

Biophilic design connects people and nature within built environments. More than simply ensuring basic comfort, biophilic design enables the creation of spaces that improve lives and experiences. The connection to nature and maintaining alignment with its rhythms are vital to maintaining good health. In addition, access to daylighting and view has been linked to reduced fatigue and stress, greater focus and attendance among office workers, improved performance and attention among students, and faster healing among patients. Glazing design and selection is thus an integral component of biophilic design. Glass provides views to natural elements outside the building—whether trees and plants close to the building or far-off vistas—while bringing natural light inside. But glass and façade design can be challenging – they must contribute to a low energy/low carbon building stock and also provide thermal comfort, glare control and privacy for occupants when needed. This webinar will introduce the student to the concept of biophilic design, how biophilic design can benefit occupants, and how glazing can be used to connect occupants with the natural world while meeting other goals such as security, energy efficiency, and acoustic comfort.

The presentations will be followed by a moderated discussion and address several key issues.


Tom Culp, PhD. - Birch Point Consulting
Lisa Heschong, IES Fellow - Architect and Author
Steve Selkowitz, Principal - Stephen Selkowitz Consulting
Urmilla Jokhu-Sowell, Advocacy and Technical Director - National Glass Association