NC State
BioResources
Watchman, M., Potvin, A., and Demers, C. (2017). "A post-occupancy evaluation of the influence of wood on environmental comfort," BioRes. 12(4), 8704-8724.

Abstract

Emerging research on the impact of interior finishes, more specifically wood, is beginning to shed light on informed design opportunities. As a natural building material with unique features, wood creates warm and pleasant atmospheres and has the potential of enhancing the well-being of occupants. This research attempted to better understand how occupants perceive wood in built environments and whether its indoor use influenced the satisfaction of occupants. The comfort of occupants may have been influenced by factors that were unrelated to the indoor environmental quality, which caused difficulties in comparing interior finishes in existing environments and limited research in this field. An exploratory comparative study, within a post-occupancy evaluation framework, investigated the subjective perception of occupants in relation to physical comfort factors. Thirty-six occupants completed a questionnaire to examine comfort satisfaction in a multifunctional room with extensive wooden interior finishes in comparison with a similar space without wood surfaces. The results indicated that occupants were more satisfied in the extensive wood surfaced room in terms of lighting, noise, and temperature, despite the similar environmental conditions in both spaces. Adjectives often used to describe the wood room included bright, pleasant, modern, and warm. Architects should consider the subjective qualities of wood when designing comfortable buildings.


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