The influence of wooden interior materials on indoor environment: a review

Tuomas Alapieti*, Raimo Mikkola, Pertti Pasanen, Heidi Salonen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Environmental issues and health-benefitting design strategies have raised interest in natural and renewable building materials, resulting in an increased focus on the use of wood in built environment. The influence of wooden materials on measured and perceived indoor environment quality (IEQ) has gained attention during the past few decades, with a growing number of studies having explored the issue. This review was conducted to examine and summarise the body of research on the influence of wooden interior materials on IEQ, with an emphasis on the following themes: emissions of chemical compounds, moisture buffering of indoor air, antibacterial effects, acoustics, and psychological and physiological effects. This review found that wooden interior materials exert mainly positive or neutral effects on IEQ, such as moderating humidity fluctuations of indoor air, inducing positive feelings in occupants, and inhibiting certain bacteria. Negative effects on IEQ are limited to volatile organic compounds emitted from wood. The odour thresholds of some aldehydes and terpenes are low enough to affect the perceived IEQ. Additionally, concentrations of formaldehyde and acrolein may under certain conditions cause adverse health effects. Further studies are needed to better understand these phenomena and take advantage of the beneficial effects while hindering the unpleasant ones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-634
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Wood and Wood Products
Volume78
Issue number4
Early online date5 May 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Wood
  • Indoor environment
  • Moisture buffering
  • Antibacterial effects
  • Acoustics
  • Psychological effects
  • VOLATILE ORGANIC-COMPOUNDS
  • SPRUCE PICEA-ABIES
  • SOUND-ABSORPTION CAPABILITY
  • MOISTURE BUFFERING CAPACITY
  • SCOTS PINE
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL RESPONSES
  • AIR-QUALITY
  • OXIDATION-PRODUCTS
  • BUILDING-MATERIALS
  • CUTTING BOARDS

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