Neuroscience promises to revolutionize real estate

Urban populations spend between 80% and 90% of their time indoors. Work, public transport, restaurants, shops… And of course your own home. In this sense, neuroscience applied to architecture is at the forefront of innovation in the real estate sector, to build houses and apartments more welcoming to their occupants.

Last year’s restrictions as a result of the pandemic have highlighted the serious shortcomings of Spanish homes. Floors with little light, lack of terraces or lack of ventilation are some of the most common characteristics, something that directly affects the mood of its inhabitants. The psychological component of a home is fundamental. For this reason, neuroscience promises to revolutionize the real estate industry.

The association of neuroscience and architecture – Neuroarchitecture – has the virologist as its main representative Jonas Salt, developer of the first polio vaccine. 70 years ago, in the 1960s, he built the Salk Institute in California, a building that can be considered the first example of neuroarchitecture.

Since then, the application of neuroscience to building design has passed through various phases and has a solid foundation for study. For example the building in which it is located the Jewish Museum in Berlin aims to heighten the sense of horror Jews suffered during National Socialism. “The design was intentional, but in other cases these are architectural accidents that can be avoided,” explains an architect in El País.

The key to this technique is to bring the factors associated in neuroscience with mental health and well-being into the design of a building. Ventilation, smells, large windows with lots of light or the feeling of coexistence with nature are some of them. In addition, constructions with materials that are pleasing to the eye and to the touch, such as wood, stone or leather, are other differentiating factors in neuroarchitecture.

The high cost of uniting neuroscience and architecture

While the mental health benefits are obvious, bringing neuroscience and architecture together doesn’t come cheap. At the moment, it’s a possibility reserved for a few, and tends to be more common in newly built single-family homes. “The main applicants are business people or big European managers,” they explain in El País.

Or soccer player. Players from Betis, Liverpool and Osasuna have already enlisted the services of experienced neuroscientific architect María Gil, who usually designs spaces for between 700 and 3,000 square meters. Given this situation, it is worth asking about the cost of applying neuroarchitecture to smaller apartment blocks, the usual apartments in big cities.

In any case, this technique seems to have gained prominence as a result of the pandemic and shows how the real estate industry is constantly evolving. So it can be a good time to do it. The possibilities are many and adapted to all pockets…

Architecture, management, real estate, neuroscience