Podcast with Dr. Graham Lowe on the biophilic benefits of wood and healthy workplaces

Samuel Brighouse Elementary School | Photo credit: Nic Lehoux 


Dr. Graham Lowe on the connection between wood and well-being

This special episode of the Construction Record podcast looks at wood construction in the context of the wellness of those occupying buildings. While attention has been focused on the advances in wood technology allowing for larger, taller, and more complicated structures, less is known about the psychological and physiological benefits of living in wood-based structures.

University of Alberta professor emeritus and Graham Lowe Group president Graham Lowe discusses his report Wood, well-being and performance: The human and organizational benefits of wood buildings, which summarizes the health impacts of using wood and natural materials in buildings. Amongst Lowe’s findings were that biophilic design, characterized by abundant sunlight, views to nature and incorporation of natural materials can lead to lower blood pressure, improved performance and a reduction in absenteeism.

Lowe also found mass timber construction benefitted those working on projects thanks to reduced construction time and safer, cleaner building sites.

Listen to the podcast
Interior view of Samuel Brighouse Elementary showing students and demonstrating mass timber products, and hybrid timber systems construction
Wood, well-being and performance: The human and organizational benefits of wood buildings

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A selection of mass timber products, including glue-laminated timber (Glulam), are showing in this interior view of Gateway Lodge Long Term Care facility
Wood construction: Health and institutional facilities

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Douglas-fir glulam struts support the glulam and heavy timber canopy in the exterior view of the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital Emergency Department
Wood as a restorative material in healthcare environments

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Exterior view of Surrey Memorial Hospital Critical Care Tower showing biophilic glulam arches that extend floor to ceiling, bringing warm stress-reducing tones to critical care patients.
Wood in healthcare

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