Most industry experts would agree that using timber in construction is the most sustainable building product out there. Not only does it add warmth and character to your home, its raw beauty is furthered by the fact that not only is it natural, but sustainable and eco-friendly.
Moreover, wood’s timeless nature makes it a perfect choice for those who don’t care to follow trends but rather prefer to find pieces that will look current over time. Although the reasons for wanting wood furniture are numerous and varied, the one constant is wood’s ability to please a broad spectrum. By doing so, wood benefits the workplace in more ways than one.
Below are some of the ways you are aiding the environment by using wood.
Wood is an excellent insulator. It loses heat 8x lower than glass, 15x lower than concrete, and 390x lower than steel. By using wood as a building product, you are not only making your home a more comfortable one to live in, but are also helping the environment by reducing your need to cool and heat the house. Wood is also biodegradable, making it a great reusable resource. Saying so, wood is still durable and can last almost indefinitely if protected from insects, bacteria and fungi, or if it is treated with finishes. Therefore, it is still a long-lasting, and eco-friendly choice as a building material.
Wood’s Use Benefits the Environment
Using wood also benefits American forests. Thanks to reforestation efforts born in the 20th century, “the average standing wood volume per acre in US forests is about one-third greater today than in 1952,” according to the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization. Not only has forest growth been swift, it has also been steady. Since the 1940s national forest growth has exceeded harvest by 42 percent with forest growth volume being 380 percent greater than it was in 1920. Put simply, harvesting forests rebuilds forests. Wood furniture contributes to sustainable reforestation.
Wood furniture also appeals to the various generations’ environmental sensibilities. Baby boomers were the first generation to take on the challenge of environmental stewardship, and Generation X followed suit, furthering efforts of recycling and not hurting the environment. However, according to a 2010 Michigan State University and Deloitte LLP study as referenced in Science Daily, one of the distinctions of Generation Y from other generations is its discernment with regard to environmental stewardship. No longer is it enough to not harm the environment, this generation seeks products that actually rebuild it.
Wood Furniture Positively Affects Employee Health
Less known but no less important is the benefit wood furniture holds for employee health. According to a research study at the University of British Columbia “wood visual surfaces and stress reactivity in occupants of the built environment.” The result is in line with the effect of nature on humans. Much in the way that indoor plants have been shown to alleviate stress in humans, wood surfaces, when applied indoors, also have proven to reduce individuals’ stress levels as measured by the sympathetic nervous system. Such a physiological benefit holds key implications for businesses, including happier workers, less turnover, fewer stress-related illnesses and a reduction in sick days.
From a financial point of view
Wood is a medium with far-reaching benefits and appeal. Financially, wood endures and lends itself to repair, thereby reducing the need to replace furniture frequently. In a company’s quest to appeal to multiple generations at work, wood is the one medium that holds aspirational value across the generational spectrum, while rebuilding the environment and benefiting employee health. Wood’s ability to “do it all” is both modern and timeless.