By Nadine Pearson, Architectural Intern

Nadine P Blog

 Sustainable architecture provides health benefits for our cities and people. Learn more with Number TEN's blog.

Projects such as Douglas Park School in Regina (left) and Qualico Family Centre in Winnipeg (right) demonstrate the elegance of wood as a building material.

In Canada, 81 percent of the population lives in urban areas and Canadians typically spend 90 percent of their time inside. We are so far removed from our natural environment, it’s no wonder our health and state of mind are so fragile.

Studies have shown that exposure to natural environments has positive effects on physical and mental health. Simply going for a brief walk outdoors, for example, can lift ones spirits and generate real health benefits. As designers, we have an opportunity to bring some of the benefits of the natural environment indoors through the use of wood in our designs.

 Interior design at the Winnipeg Humane Society, a project of Number TEN.

Winnipeg Humane Society

By connecting people to the great outdoors, wood has a natural ability to help reduce stress, which provides a greater ability to focus, higher levels of creativity, lowered levels of aggression and a general improvement of mental health. It is also an incredibly versatile, aesthetically pleasing, cost-effective and renewable material.

The unique physical properties of wood naturally controls humidity and air-borne contaminants, providing the built environment with cleaner, healthier air. As an example of this characteristic, it has been demonstrated that recovery times improve when wood is used as a material in hospitals.

 Projects such as Douglas Park School and Qualico Family Centre demonstrate the elegance of wood in Number TEN's interior design.

Garden City Collegiate

Countless studies have documented the health benefits of wood in buildings, and it has been a material of choice since the dawn of architecture. Today, we have countless applications for wood: from structural members to finishing materials, to furniture and simple objects. Technological advancements certainly provide designers with a wide range of aesthetically pleasing and functional material options to work with, but by incorporating wood into the built environment, it is proven that architects can contribute to better health for those who interact with the spaces we design.

Number TEN Blog

Number TEN Inspired! captures the knowledge, passion and ideas of our award winning architects, interior designers and supporting staff, as they navigate through the complexities of the modern design landscape. We are creative problem solvers, advocates for better ways of doing things, and observers of all that is interesting and noteworthy in our field. This blog is our effort to share our knowledge and ideas in a way that resonates with everyone. Whether you work in the industry as an architect, interior designer, building manager, property developer, or are just someone with an interest in creativity and new ways of doing things, this blog has something for you.