More and more, science is confirming common sense: being exposed to nature—and natural, organic materials—not only calms the mind, it may actually help prevent and treat disease. No indoor environment can replace the extraordinary experience of the natural world, but research is showing that incorporating nature into built spaces—whether in the form of sunlight and fresh ventilation, plants and greenery, or organic materials—can improve our health and well-being.

Studies confirm a positive human response to wood itself, and suggest it is a good choice for health-care environments. British Columbia (B.C.)’s health-care environments are embracing the idea that wood is good for you.

This learning chapter will identify benefits of building with wood in healthcare and wellness, demonstrated through articles and featured projects using wood as a structural and finishing material.

Learning objectives

Participants will be able to:

  • Summarize the benefits of using wood as a primary building material in the structural and finishing applications of health-care facilities
  • Discuss the biophilic benefits of wood 
  • List and elaborate on examples of health-care facilities that used wood as a primary building material in construction 
  • Identify and differentiate between the various types of mass-timber products