Designing Beneficial Spaces for Living, Working, and Well-Being

Sponsored by Think Wood
1 AIA LU/HSW; 0.1 IACET CEU*; 1 GBCI CE Hour; 1 AIBD P-CE; AAA 1 Structured Learning Hour; This course can be self-reported to the AANB, as per their CE Guidelines; AAPEI 1 Structured Learning Hour; This course can be self-reported to the AIBC, as per their CE Guidelines.; MAA 1 Structured Learning Hour; This course can be self-reported to the NLAA.; This course can be self-reported to the NSAA; NWTAA 1 Structured Learning Hour; OAA 1 Learning Hour; SAA 1 Hour of Core Learning

Learning Objectives:

  1. Appreciate the role of architecture and material choice in designing buildings that promote occupant well-being.
  2. Identify four of the most common design approaches that recognize the positive connection between humans and nature.
  3. Explain the role of wellness-focused building standards, and recognize the overlap between occupant wellness considerations and existing green building standards.
  4. Discuss the ways in which buildings can be designed to help reduce stress, promote healing, support learning, improve employee productivity and satisfaction, and enhance retail customer experience.

This course is part of the Wood Structures Academy

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Healthy Buildings Have a Healthy Future

While much of the research is relatively new, science continues to identify opportunities to change the way we build to promote well-being. We have identified possibilities for buildings to be designed holistically, not only to meet criteria beyond just cost and structural considerations but also achieve social, psychological, and other goals.

This is perhaps one legacy of the pandemic: that we have the potential to change where and how we work, what a school looks like for our children, how a hospital or other health-care facility can help people recover, and how we provide housing for the at-risk in our communities. And we have a growing appreciation for the fact that nature can play a larger role in how we design buildings that will help us feel good. But we still need to know more. There are many opportunities for further research studying the impact of the built environment on all aspects of occupant health and wellness.

In their 2019 article, “Do Experiences With Nature Promote Learning? Converging Evidence of a Cause-and-Effect Relationship,” published in Frontiers in Psychology, authors Ming Kuo, Michael Barnes, and Dr. Catherine Jordan said, “Over 50 studies point to nature playing a key role in the development of pro-environmental behavior, particularly by fostering an emotional connection to nature.”38

This may mean that people who live, learn, or work in sustainably built buildings will, in time, develop a better appreciation for sustainability itself. Healthy buildings have a healthy future.

END NOTES

1U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1989. Report to Congress on indoor air quality: Volume 2. EPA/400/1-89/001C. Washington, DC.

2How Architectural Design Can Improve Health and Wellness, Alvarez-Díaz & Villalón, March 1, 2017

3Human-Centred Design; An innovative engagement process that puts wellbeing at the heart of building design, Atkins

4Green Cities: Good Health, University of Washington Urban Forestry/Urban Greening Research

5A Visual Reference for Evidence-Based Design, The Center for Health Design

614 Patterns of Biophilic Design, Improving Health & Well-Being in the Built Environment, Terrapin Bright Green

7The Economics of Biophilia, Why Designing with Nature in Mind Makes Financial Sense, Terrapin Bright Green

8Wood Housing, Health, Humanity, Planet Ark

9Wood in the human environment: restorative properties of wood in the built indoor environment

10Workplaces: Wellness + Wood = Productivity, a report prepared for Forest & Wood Products Australia by Andrew Knox, Howard Parry-Husbands, Pollinate, February 2018; pg. 11

11https://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/gtr/gtr-nrs-p-39papers/04-heerwagen-p-39.pdf, page 42, Ulrich studies

12Walch J.M., Rabin B,S,, Day R,, Williams J,N,, Choi K,, Kang J,D. The effect of sunlight on postoperative analgesic medication use: a prospective study of patients undergoing spinal surgery. Psychosom Med. Jan-Feb 2005

13Wood and Its Impact on Humans and Environmental Quality in Facilities, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Kotradyova et al, September 19, 2019

14Do Experiences With Nature Promote Learning? Converging Evidence of a Cause-and-Effect Relationship, Frontiers in Psychology, February 2019, p.2

15Impact of views to school landscapes on recovery from stress and mental fatigue. Landsc. Urban Plan, 2016, abtract

16Do Experiences With Nature Promote Learning? Converging Evidence of a Cause-and-Effect Relationship, Frontiers in Psychology, February 2019, p.2

17Determan, J., Akers, M. A., Albright, T., Browning, B., Martin-Dunlop, C., Archibald, P., & Caruolo, V. (2019). The impact of biophilic learning spaces on student success

18https://www.bdcnetwork.com/back-nature-can-wood-construction-create-healthier-more-productive-learning-environments

19https://makeitwood.org/documents/doc-1253-wood--housing--health--humanity-report-2015-04-00-final.pdf, Pg 6

20University Childcare Centre; International Living Future Institute

21Behavior Changes in Older Persons Caused by Using Wood Products in Assisted Living, Anme et al, Public Health Research, 2012

22Therapeutic Landscapes and Wellbeing in Later Life: Impacts of Blue and Green Spaces for Older Adults; Finlay et al, July 2015, Health & Place

23Seeing Community for the Trees: The Links among Contact with Natural Environments, Community Cohesion, and Crime; BioScience, Volume 65, Issue 12, 01 December 2015, Pages 1141–1153

24Environment and Crime in the Inner City: Does Vegetation Reduce Crime?; M. Kuo and W. Sullivan, May 2001

25Drs. Julian and Raye Richardson Apartments, Architect Magazine, May 20, 2013

26Health, Wellbeing & Productivity in Offices, The Next Chapter for Green Building; World Green Building Council

27Workplaces: Wellness + Wood = Productivity, a report prepared for Forest & Wood Products Australia by Andrew Knox, Howard Parry-Husbands, Pollinate, February 2018

28Ball, R.D., Killerby, S.K and Ridoutt, B.G., First impressions of organisations and the qualities connoted by wood in interior design. Forest Products Journal 2002

29Incorporating Nature into the Built Environment, Healthier Workplaces, Happier Employees, Bill Browning, People + Strategy, Summer 2015

30Case Study: First Tech Federal Credit Union, September 2018, APA-The Engineered Wood Association

31The Economics of Biophilia, Terrapin Bright Green

32The Economics of Biophilia, Terrapin Bright Green

33The Built Environment has a Huge Role to Play in Improving Health and Wellbeing, World Economic Forum Agenda, January 15, 2020

34WELL Health-Safety Rating; International WELL Building Institute

35Living Building Challenge & the WELL Building Standard; Approaches for projects seeking a dual rating

36Designing with Nature, Biophilic Design for the Indoor Environment; LEED BD+C: New Construction LEED 4v; U.S. Green Building Council

37Managing Buildings During COVID-19; U.S. Green Building Council

38Do Experiences With Nature Promote Learning? Converging Evidence of a Cause-and-Effect Relationship; Ming Kuo, Michael Barns, Catherine Jordan; Frontiers in Psychology, February 19, 2019

39www.thinkwood.com/news/biophilic-brands-can-wood-and-nature-boost-the-bottom-line-2

Think Wood Think Wood provides commercial, multifamily and single-family home design and build resources to architects, developers, and contractors, including education, research, design tools, and innovative project profiles.

 

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Originally published in Architectural Record
Originally published in March 2021


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