A Post-occupancy Evaluation of the Influence of Wood on Environmental Comfort

Mélanie Watchman, André Potvin, Claude M. H. Demers

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.

Keywords


Indoor environmental quality; Occupant comfort; Post-occupancy evaluation; Questionnaire; Interior wood finishes

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Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022, hubbe@ncsu.edu; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, lucian.lucia@gmail.com URLs: bioresourcesjournal.com; http://ncsu.edu/bioresources ISSN: 1930-2126