The hospital facility in Norrland, Sweden has been renovated extensively with wood-based products because of the belief that natural materials help people heal better.

This sanctuary functions as a temporary home for families with young children suffering from long-term illness.

Designed by White Arkitekter, Hjältarnas Hus (House of Heroes) features MEDITE Tricoya Extreme (MTX) panels along the outer walls, while the roof is glulam overlaid with white metal sheets. The building’s interior walls and ceilings are clad with fir.

MTX was specifically chosen as it was the only wood composite panel guaranteed to last 50 years in an external environment, even when in contact with moisture.

Equally importantly was the no added formaldehyde in manufacture. Research has shown that exposure to wood-based products and interiors can create similar health benefits to spending time in nature. These include physical and mental rejuvenation, emotional calm and faster recovery from illness. However, the product’s low formaldehyde emission classification of E1 was considered imperative, especially for a building which is home to recuperating young residents.

MTX panels lining the outer walls were milled into intricate patterns. This created a well-lit space, allowing the children to enjoy a light, bright atmosphere. As MTX is completely weatherproof both on the surface and all the way through, it enables elaborate machining to achieve complex patterns.

Generally, in using mainly timber for this build, Hjältarnas Hus and the Sweden Västerbotten Healthcare Council, which collaborated on the project, have eliminated around one tonne of carbon dioxide per cubic metre of solid material from being released into the atmosphere, compared to using materials such as concrete or brick.