The objectives of sustainable design are broader than just environmental effects, having come to embrace issues of human health and performance. As sedentary and service-related work becomes more prevalent in our society, the amount of time people spend inside buildings increases—the average North American spends 90 percent of his or her time indoors, another 5 percent in cars and only 5 percent outside.

Photo: Richard Mandelkorn

This course highlights remarkable buildings where the use of wood as a structural or finish material has made a unique contribution, with a focus on indoor air quality, acoustics, physical health, and a natural, positive human response to wood that has always been intuitive, but is increasingly being proven by research and experience.

Learning Objectives – After this course, you should be able to:

  1. Define the relationship between a building’s sustainability and the health and performance of the building’s occupants.
  2. Explore how wood was used to enhance the experience of building occupants in projects from around the country.
  3. Recognize how wood used as a structural and finish material contributes to key elements of occupant environment including indoor air quality, acoustic performance, and physical health.
  4. Examine evidence confirming the positive human response to wood for its aesthetic qualities and connection to nature.

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