Photo: The Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care © Fotohaus


Sustainable buildings should also be designed to be healthy and attractive for occupants. Timber is a natural material and research shows how it has a positive effect on both physical and mental health.


Suggested Reading

Wood Information Sheets

Specifying timber for healthy buildings

This Wood Information Sheet looks at the increasing evidence base that underpins the use of timber in construction, especially in interiors, where people will interact with materials either directly by visual or haptic senses, or indirectly through smell, air quality, humidity buffering and thermal comfort.



The role of wood in healthy buildings

This briefing document examines the increasing role that wood is playing within the field of healthy buildings, expanding and supporting the use of timber in construction.


Magazine Articles

Timber and the resilient home (2020)

Christiane Lellig discusses the important role the timber industry has to play in building more sustainable and climate-resilient homes.


Wood health (2020)

Ed Suttie discusses how wood is good for your health and how we might specify for the delivery of healthy buildings.


A clean technology solution for a healthy built environment (2019)

Robert Hairstans on the benefits of off-site timber construction.


Sustainable timber gives the human touch (2016)

Timber is so much more than a low-carbon construction material, writes Dave Parker. And modern technology and construction techniques will revive its appeal as the material with the human touch. 


Timber Building Case Studies

Woodland Classrooms, Belvue School, Northolt 

Belvue School is a secondary school for children with severe learning difficulties and a range of other needs. Its site, in Northolt, west London, lies next to a small patch of woodland over which the school has been given custody.


Storey’s Field Community Centre and Nursery

Storey’s Field Community Centre and Nursery is a building of rare quality. It was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize and cited, in its RIBA Award, as demonstrating ‘how an architect can add joy, an enhanced experience of materials and human dimension to every part of a building’.


The Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care, Bath 

The Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care (NICU) at the Royal United Hospital in Bath cares for more than 500 premature and sick newborn babies each year; it has been designed as a template to show how good, sustainable healthcare design can be achieved, setting a benchmark for good practice, and creating a therapeutic environment to benefit parents, children and staff.


Visit our Healthy Buildings area


Other sustainability sub-topics

Timber as a sustainable material 

Sustainable timber sourcing

Sustainable production of timber products

Sustainable building design in the circular economy

Sustainable building processes

Sustainable building life

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