Wood-Based Biophilic Design and Emerging Economic Opportunities In the Built Environment
Originally published December 2018, updated May 2020.
Timber-based construction projects are not always considered representative of the industry’s cutting edge. In fact, a common misconception is that building with wood can often introduce challenges for certain project types, including higher material budget costs or limitations on building height.
In reality, these views represent outdated misperceptions, thanks to the development of mass timber technology. As mass timber continues to mature and grow as a mainstream structural material, awareness of the many benefits of building with wood grows as well, along with successful project case studies and a growing body of research.
Biophilia, translating to “love of life”, was first defined by Edward O. Wilson as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life.” A growing body of research is deepening our understanding of biophilia and linking natural environments to improved physiological and psychological conditions in humans, including work productivity, social connection, classroom learning, emotional wellness, and more.
These long-term residual benefits to occupants translate into an opportunity for many sectors to leverage wood-based design into the built environment as a tool to operate more efficiently and improve profits. Detailed in this paper are many potential applications unique to different market sectors.Back