Developed in partnership with the Technical University of Munich, the in-depth literature review highlights points such as wood’s ability to reduce stress and boost productivity levels. This includes a decrease in cortisol levels by 7.5%, implying a stress-reducing effect.

Other aspects mentioned in the whitepaper include the ability of wooden classrooms to significantly lower heart rates and lower perception of stress.

Furthermore, studies showing Coronaviruses (SARS -CoV-2) applied to wooden surfaces can only be replicated for 12 hours, whereas on surfaces made of plastic, stainless steel, glass and masonry, the viruses remain multipliable for up to 96 hours.

“Considering in the developed world, around 90% of our time is spent inside – something that’s been exacerbated in recent times by the COVID-19 pandemic – it is more important than ever to assess wellbeing whilst indoors, and the whitepaper demystifies the role building materials play in this,” Stora Enso said.

The whitepaper cites research that shows exposure to essential tree oils can result in an increase in natural killer (NK) cells which is an indicator of a strengthened immune system.

Sebastian Hernandez, building concepts manager, Building Solutions, Stora Enso Wood Products, said the health and wellbeing aspects of wood are often underappreciated compared to its CO2 emission reducing advantages.

“There is still a lot to learn in this field. And with the role the construction industry plays in societal impact in acute focus, we hope that our study spurs an increased interest in research in the future.”

Air humidity is also covered, with research showing wood can keep the ideal range of humidity (40-70%) for a longer period of time.

To view the 10 key well-being benefits of building with wood in the full whitepaper, visit the WhitePaper