The Benefits of Integrating Nature and Greenery into Pharmacy Real Estate Design

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As companies and individuals search for ways to make their spaces more in tune with the natural world, real estate developers and property owners are increasingly recognizing the importance of sustainable design. This has become a particularly prevalent trend for properties associated with the healthcare industry due to the positive health impacts biophilic design seems to present to patients and populations at large. 

Biophilic design refers to using sustainable materials, plants, water, and natural light to make properties more ecologically friendly by mimicking the natural environment. Considering the calming effects of time spent in nature, it is no surprise that many pharmacy owners and stakeholders are interested in implementing some of the principles of biophilic design into their properties. 

In fact, there are numerous benefits to designing properties that are more environmentally integrated. This can be as simple as introducing nature, greenery, and indoor plants into the design of a pharmacy. 

Simple steps such as these biophilic design principles can have many benefits for customers and patients. Let us explore some of the most important benefits of integrating nature into pharmacy real estate design.

Improving Air Quality in Pharmacies 

One important benefit of integrating nature and greenery into pharmacy real estate design is that it can improve air quality. That is because plants absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants while also releasing oxygen into the air. 

More oxygen in the air can have several health benefits. One benefit is that increased exposure to more oxygen can cause blood vessels in the lungs to dilate, improving cleansing and tissue repair within them and helping them to exchange carbon dioxide more easily for oxygen. 

Other benefits of exposure to fresh air, which has higher levels of oxygen, can include increased energy levels, a boosted immune system, and even improved brain function. This latter benefit has the potential to heighten concentration and memory abilities in some individuals and has a positive effect on mental health. Nowhere are these positive effects more important than in healthcare settings like pharmacies.

Improving Customer Experience by Decreasing Stress Levels

Fresh air and higher ambient oxygen levels can trigger physiological effects that impact a person’s state of mind. In particular, improved air quality can decrease stress levels. This can allow pharmacy staff and customers to have a more harmonious and pleasant experience.

Pharmacy staff experience greater teamwork, collaboration, and attention to detail when working in a less stressful environment. Staff can also provide better customer service when in a positive state of mind. Introducing natural elements into the design of a pharmacy can have cumulative impacts on customer satisfaction. 

Customer satisfaction is important, especially in a digital age where customers have immense power to affect a company’s brand. Customers can, and frequently do, leave reviews of companies on websites like Yelp and Google to describe their positive or negative experiences. Over time, this significantly impacts a business’s brand. 

Positive reviews of a pharmacy and improvements to its design can increase the value of that pharmacy for potential buyers who are interested in purchasing from reputable firms like Pharma Property Group. Pharmacy owners should keep this in mind. In addition, due to the growth of the pharmaceutical industry, many buyers are finding that it is an ideal time to become franchise owners.

Increased Employee Productivity

Pharmacy owners who are conscientious of their workers’ health and productivity should consider integrating nature and greenery, or indoor plants, into their pharmacy’s design. Research has shown that biophilic design can decrease worker burnout and boost employee morale over the long term. 

Some studies suggest that employees and even students are less likely to take sick days when they are working or studying in a biophilic environment. The reason for this is difficult to determine with certainty, but it is likely due to the positive physiological effects of increased ambient oxygen levels.

There are real estate developers who are even taking steps to increase the exposure of natural light on their properties as part of their biophilic design approach. Natural light can have surprisingly powerful positive effects on a person’s physiology. Direct sunlight exposure stimulates the production of vitamin D and can modulate one’s circadian rhythm. 

Reducing Costs and Overhead

These positive physiological effects can facilitate a healthy, productive work environment that improves employee satisfaction and retention, reduces turnover, and saves on human resources and hiring costs. This is important, considering that the cost of hiring a new employee is typically much greater than retaining an existing one. 

Happy, well-regarded employees can also help mitigate a company’s legal risks by reducing the likelihood of lawsuits. An employee who can realistically claim that they were exposed to a hostile work environment could have legal standing to bring a suit against their employer. Creating a pleasant, low-stress work environment makes it less likely that an employer would have to defend itself against such a suit. 

A biophilic design also helps to naturally modulate temperatures and save on energy costs by reducing the need to use heating and cooling systems. That is because plants release water vapor through their leaves through a process called transpiration, which can subtly increase humidity levels. This is particularly helpful in areas with heating and cooling systems that tend to dry out the air. 

In cold environments, plants can function as insulators by trapping warm air. In warm environments, plants can cool the air by releasing water vapor from their leaves. As a result, pairing biophilic design principles with energy-efficient technology helps pharmacies save money. 

Environmental Benefits

Aside from being good for the pharmacy’s bottom line, saving energy can benefit the environment. This is important because increasing numbers of customers, particularly Millennials, are placing a greater emphasis on environmental sustainability when making purchasing decisions. 

Using biophilic design principles to cut energy costs can help position your pharmacy or brand as a leader when it comes to environmental sustainability. That could help attract an entire generation of new customers and brand advocates.

This trend is likely to accelerate in the future, too, as more people become aware of the negative impacts of industrial and commercial development on the climate and move towards embracing environmentally friendly design standards.

To sum up, the process of integrating nature and greenery into the design of a pharmacy can have unexpected and important benefits that contribute to the long-term value of the business and property.