Timber’s Biophilia Credentials
Iain Mcllwee, CEO of the British Woodworking Federation draws attention to the growing focus on the health and wellbeing of building occupants. In particular he cites the emergence of the “Well Standard” resulting in the recognition of timber’s strong biophilia credentials.
Health & Wellbeing
Mcllwee points to the global movement over recent years to design buildings that are not only functional and practical, but that also aid the health and wellbeing of their occupants. This involves considerations such as indoor air quality, level of light and colours used, as well as the role of biophilia.
Biophilia is the affinity that humans have towards the natural world. As the physical environment has become increasingly urban, the connection to the environment has deteriorated. This is often seen in buildings where natural light, greenery and organic materials are replaced with artificial alternatives.
15% Higher Wellbeing
A study by business psychologist Robertson Cooper found that employee wellbeing was 15% higher in office spaces where natural elements such as plants and sunlight were incorporated. Another study, by the US Green Building Council, concluded that buildings that incorporate nature-resembling colours, such as green, blue and brown, have a positive impact on wellbeing.
The “Well Being” Standard
In 2014 the “Well Building Standard” was launched to validate buildings aiming to advance human health and wellness. Currently 708 projects across 32
countries have achieved the standard, including 22 Bishopsgate in London – the UK’s first Well-certified building. The standard measures a building’s
impact on its occupants’ health against several factors: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, mind and innovation.
Timber’s Positive Biophilia Influence
Timber is one natural material which can encourage a positive biophilic response. For instance, a survey by the Wood Window Alliance (WWA) found that 47% of those surveyed agreed that having natural materials in their home made them feel happier than artificial materials.
“Cradle to Grave” Certification
In addition, a joint report by the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) and sustainability consultant SGS Search found that a WWA standard window meets the health elements required of the Cradle to Cradle Certified Standard Silver level.
This holistic design concept aims to create building systems that are efficient, healthy and essentially waste-free, and bans chemicals and substances that accumulate in the environment and lead to irreversible negative health effects.
Timber Used to Promote School Health
A recent example of a project incorporating timber to promote health benefits is King’s School Worcester’s multi-purpose Bartholomew Barn.
Completed in 2016 to Passivhaus standards, it is based on Passivhaus patron Saint-Gobain’s Multi-Comfort standard, which focuses on thermal comfort, acoustic comfort, indoor air comfort and visual comfort.
The barn has a glulam structure, and timber enhances acoustic performance. Saint-Gobain says pupils describe the building as “light”, “warm”, and “modern”.
‘Fabric First’ Timber Frame
Embracing the ‘Fabric First’ philosophy, in collaboration with firms like Saint-Gobain, our timber & SIP frames are designed from the outset to deliver
these benefits to architects and their clients. Doing places extra burdens and challenges on the small number of people with the knowledge, design skills,
and experience to do this, but fortunately our inhouse training programme keeps them at the forefront of techniques, materials and developments.
This is extra important since most such work is currently most likely be quite individualised and on a small scale.
Prefabrication Is Key
Factory prefabrication of elements like walls, floors, and roofs offer arguably the best opportunities to integrate “light”, “warm”, and “modern” along with
renewable energy components. Produced these under off-site factory controlled conditions, they can go a long way toward offering low cost energy saving
homes. This includes the availability of carefully selected complimentary components and methods to speed up work on site as well as providing unusual and
hard to find environmentally sound, eco-friendly, sustainable and complimentary building products and components that facilitate merging with local
Your Partner in Development
Whether you are an architect, builder or private client, almost certainly you are becoming aware of changing homeowner preferences and aspirations.
Working with our teams we believe will help you to provide you’re your clients want and more readily marketable homes.
Better all-round Savings
Our specialist services and CUSTOM homes division deliver best value and protect the interests of land owners, house-builder developers, professionals
and private individuals seeking to build their dream home. Our off-site construction systems also reduce the amount of material that gets wasted on site,helping to avoid land fill, hazardous waste separation and handling, They also deliver better value for you and your customers.
PLEASE CONTACT US FOR AN INFORMAL DISCUSSION AS TO HOW WE MIGHT WORK TOGETHER
Call us to arrange a factory visit and discuss your ideas and needs with our in-house team of professionals for your next project. You’ll be glad you did!