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Attitude towards the use of wood is changing

Wood is a friendly, natural and renewable material. It used to be one of the most important building materials; it was also used for other purposes, for example, for furniture, tools, household goods, paper and art. Over time, this changed as we began to progressively use less expensive and non-renewable materials such as concrete, iron and plastic.

Today, the trend is changing again – the use of wood is once more on the rise. We are sufficiently aware of the fact that we must take care of our health and the natural environment on our planet; therefore, the use of wood, of which we have plenty in Slovenia, is growing and returning to the construction field. In addition, researchers have repeatedly shown that this material has many positive effects on both human health and the environment.

For instance, placement of timber and wooden products in the living environment influences faster recovery from stress. Researchers in the InnoRenew CoE’s Human Health in the Built Environment research group, led by Dr Michael Burnard, are paying special attention to this field. After all, Dr Burnard researched the effects of wood in the built environment for stress and stress recovery in his doctoral thesis.

Positive effects of wood on the environment are several; let us name just a few: wood is a renewable material, it complies with the principles of sustainable construction and it reduces carbon dioxide emissions into the environment.

Given that we have a great amount of wood and knowledge, it would make sense for the wood industry, which was once highly developed in Slovenia, to make a breakthrough for new, smart, creative and green finished products in the new development cycle and to be among the most developed in Europe. Establishment and operation of the InnoRenew CoE research institute is excellent proof that decision makers in our country and throughout the European Union are aware of this.

You can read more about what kind of research the InnoRenew CoE does, which materials they study and the situation of the timber industry in Slovenia in the article “Andreja Kutnar: ‘Les prihaja nazaj, v naš vsakdan’”, published on the radio Ognjišče webpage, where you can also listen to the whole interview with the InnoRenew CoE’s director.