Wood makes us feel good!
Natural materials have similar health benefits to being out in nature. There is now a growing body of science concerning wood’s role in wellbeing and how the material makes us feel happy and healthy. In the research project Wood2New, which was completed in 2017, researchers from five countries spent three years studying how wooden interiors affect health.
In addition to the purely technical properties, the project used focus groups to measure the emotional experiences of wood in healthcare facilities and various other contexts. The evidence showed that wood can help to lower the heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels, and cause faster patient recovery in hospital, for example. An Austrian study has shown that wood creates good conditions for learning. School environments with plenty of wood contribute to better learning by lowering the pulse of the students, increasing concentration and helping to reduce the number of conflicts.
It is interesting to note that people have similar responses to wood, whatever their culture – seeing it as natural, warm and comforting. Research into the tactile side of wood also found that it is considered pleasant to touch and walk on, and that we perceive a wooden surface to be warmer than equivalent surfaces in other materials. Wood also makes a positive contribution to the indoor climate as a material that breathes and naturally regulates air humidity, while also absorbing carbon dioxide.
Wood creates a better working environment
Industrial wood construction makes for a significantly better working environment during the construction process. The majority of the production takes place indoors, in an ergonomically adapted process involving construction workers and specialists.
The assembly and completion work on site is quieter and cleaner, and is conducted very quickly by a small assembly team, plus there are no long, uncontrollable supply chains to deal with. Transport needs are also reduced and there is less disruption to the surrounding area.
Continuous industrial production makes it possible to outsource manufacturing to places with a stable supply of labour, which in turn provides permanent employment in these locations.
Greater industrial wood construction can help to even out the gender distribution in the industry and pave the way for greater diversity. There are already examples of manufacturers that are making good progress adapting to accommodate their target of a completely equal gender distribution. Industrial production also makes it easier to adapt the workplace and make it accessible to people with disabilities.
Warm wooden surfaces