The good wood

STICKING a bit of wood in our homes and offices can help improve the occupants’ health and wellbeing, according a report by Planet Ark.

Workers are less stressed and more productive, students learn better, patients heal faster and people are generally happier and calmer indoors if there’s some timber included in the design of the building, says Planet Ark’s woody campaign manager David Rowlinson.

“Researchers have also reported people experiencing higher levels of self-esteem, improved cognitive function and decreased blood pressure when exposed to wood in their built environment.”

The not-for-profit organisation’s report came out to coincide with World Wood Day on March 21.

It notes that “biophilic design” such as exposed roof beams and wall panelling, can help lower heart rate and even helps encourage interaction between residents in aged care facilities.

Mr Rowlinson says increasing the amount of wood used in building design and furnishing is also good for the environment.

“Responsibly sourced, certified timber is the only major building material that helps tackle climate change.

“Timber is renewable, it absorbs carbon from the atmosphere, and there are few carbon emissions associated with its production when compared to carbon-intensive materials such as concrete or steel.

“It is also one of the oldest and most versatile building materials used by humanity, but now more than ever it has a large part to play in teh design and construction of healthy buildings for us to live, work, learn and recover in.”

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