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BioResources
Watchman, M., Potvin, A., and Demers, C. M. H. (2017). "Wood and comfort: A comparative case study of two multifunctional rooms," BioRes. 12(1), 168-182.

Abstract

Many environmental advantages of wood in buildings have been thoroughly documented; however, this material’s effects on occupants are not well known or fully comprehended. This research aims to study comfort parameters in a multifunctional room characterised by extensive wood surfaces in comparison with a similar room with more conventional surfaces at Laval University, Quebec, Canada. The objectives of this research focus on determining the thermal, visual, and acoustical similarities and differences between two rooms using on-site surveys. Analysis of instrumental measurements and images of each room’s indoor environment under overcast skies determined the colour and texture of the surfaces. Quantitative and qualitative analyses revealed that both rooms share similar thermal and acoustic comfort parameters, but have contrasting visual characteristics. The colour, knots, and grain of the wood contributed to producing visually warm experiences resulting in a yellowish room, whereas a mix and match of artificial finishes generates a colder, bluish ambiance in the other room. The conclusion suggests that architects and designers should consider the indoor use of wood for its unique visual ambiances that enhance comfort levels.


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