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Jun 16, 2021

Biophilic Design: The Health Benefits of Using Wood Products in Your Home


Now more than ever, people are spending more time indoors due to the rise of urbanization and the evolution of technology. Today, the majority of office workers spend an average of 8-9 hours a day indoors. One Australian study found that about half of the workers surveyed spend an hour or less outdoors per day. While it isn’t really feasible to take office work outdoors, we can try to bring elements of nature indoors. This is referred to as biophilic design, and it is taking the world of home and office design by storm.

What is a biophilic design?

The idea behind biophilic design stems from the Greek word biophilia, which describes the innate human desire to be connected to nature. Recent studies have found that this innate desire may actually come from our intrinsic physical and emotional response to nature. According to the article Wood as a Restorative Material in Healthcare Environments, “much of biophilic design and the research field of environmental psychology deals with stress. Stress is a predictable part of modern life and biophilic design has been presented as a way to defuse it.”

Biophilic design focuses on reconnecting humans to nature by incorporating natural elements into commercial and residential designs. This means utilizing more wood products and incorporating more greenery, natural light, and water features into office spaces, schools, and homes.

Benefits of Biophilic Design

Incorporating these biophilic design elements into home and commercial designs have been shown to have many positive benefits including:

  • Reduced stress response
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Lower heart rates
  • Increased focus

Using Wood Products in Biophilic Design

Wood products are just one of the many options available to those looking to create a more positive office or home environment. Yet, studies have shown that wood has a few very specific benefits, including improved indoor air quality due to wood products absorbing and releasing moisture, which helps to balance humidity levels. Additional studies have been done revealing “that wood, where the grain is visible, relaxes the autonomic nervous system, resulting in lowered stress response.”

There are many ways to utilize wood products indoors to reap their natural benefits. Natural wood flooring, paneling, exposed posts and beams, and furniture are all excellent ways to use wood products in homes, offices, and schools. This push to use more wood products in commercial buildings has also created change in the ways we use mass timber, creating hybrid buildings that combine mass timber, steel, and concrete for the frame.

Looking to create a biophilic design in your home or office building? Contact Marks Lumber today for more information on our circle sawn flooring, siding, paneling, and timbers.

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