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The forum Living with wood SlowoodLife in Koper

October 2018

At last week’s event Living with wood – SlowoodLife, which took place at the natural reserve Škocjanski zatok, we witnessed how in recent years wooden construction increased in Slovenia. Numerous experts, architects, and entrepreneurs shared their experiences and good practices of a more conscious and sustainable way of life.

The participants were welcomed and addressed by the Director General of the Directorate of Wood, Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, Jože Prikeržnik. The program  started with the presentation of our director Dr Andreja Kutnar, who emphasized the key role of our research institute in raising awareness of the strategic and economic importance of wood in Slovenia and our role in performing research of renewable materials and sustainable buildings, and in the implementation of results into industrial practice.

Dr Andreja Kutnar. Image: Amy Simmons

This year’s main topics of the forum were biophilia – (the relation between nature and users and how to ensure the positive effects of wooden buildings and design on human health), and REED – restorative environmental and ergonomic design. These two topics are closely connected to our research work, therefore we were glad to actively participate at the event.

The Deputy director and the research group leader of the human health in the built environment, Dr Michael Burnard, pointed out how our health is inextricably related to the environment we live in. We spend 85-90% of our time indoors, therefore focusing on research that explores how passive and active human interactions with the environment impact health, as well as their overall wellbeing, can provide significant benefits to society.

Dr Michael Burnard. Image: Amy Simmons

The assistant research and PhD student at the InnoRenew CoE Nastja Podrekar presented active work, innovative solutions, and an ergonomically designed workplace which enhances the physical activities. Physical inactivity, despite the proven positive effects of physical activity, poses a global problem in modern society, especially in the sedentary work positions.

Nastja Podrekar. Image: Amy Simmons

Creation of dwellings according to human nature affects also our mental health. Assistant researcher and a PhD student at the InnoRenew CoE Dean Lipovac affirms that: »Science already took the first step by showing that interventions in the built environment indeed improve our mental health. Now it is our turn to transfer this knowledge into practice«.

Dean Lipovac. Image: Amy Simmons

Events like the forum SlowoodLife are an excellent opportunity to connect, to share thoughts and ideas, and to together reach the top of the sustainable construction sphere on a global scale.