Mid-rise apartments gain the “feel good” factor of timber
Recent changes to The National Construction Code now makes it easier to develop timber-framed and mass timber mid-rise apartments.
On May 1st 2016 Australia joined leading countries around the world with changes to the National Construction Code. The changes simplified the use of timber construction in taller structures up to 8 storeys. This includes apartments, hotels and offices.
Timber buildings typically have a range of construction and environmental advantages:
- shorter build times
- lower foundation costs
- reduced traffic movement to and from the site
- lower carbon footprint
The latter benefit is due to the fact that wood is the only construction material that stores or sequesters carbon for the life of the building.
Paul Klymenko, the Managing Director of Planet Ark emphasised a range of benefits.
“We’re focussed on helping people take decisions that have positive benefits for the environment,” Paul said, “choosing an apartment in timber mid-rise buildings has the potential to reduce the environmental footprint of the built environment while delivering advantages for the residents as well.”
He pointed to a recent report, Housing, Health and Humanity published by Planet Ark that summarises research into the beneficial effects of timber buildings on their occupants.
The report provides a review of studies analysing the health and wellbeing benefits of wooden interiors in homes, businesses, places of learning and healing. Multiple physiological, psychological and environmental benefits were identified for wooden interiors. These include:
- improvements to occupants’ emotional states
- levels of self-expression
- reduced blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels
These results come from overseas research, however, we look forward to Australia contributing more to the global story. People are beginning to experience the ‘feel good’ factor of wood in new multi-residential timber apartment developments.