Wood and Wellness

16 October 2018

We are being bombarded these days by media messages about the need to get fit and eat healthily.

Whether it’s the increased range of healthy food in the supermarket, the proliferation of radio programmes covering obesity and sleep quality or just the bigger range of weird and wonderful fitness programmes available now, health and well-being is a subject rising in importance.

The fast food giants are certainly not taking it lying down – bus stop advertising boards promoting the latest fare from KFC and Burger King seem to be everywhere and frankly they don’t look very appetising. If like me you are an infrequent jogger you probably feel like you ought to do more.

Well, there is one aspect of health and well-being where you may not have to do anything to make you feel better. This is in building and interior design.

This new mega-trend of health and well-being in the built environment involves lighting, design of space and use of natural materials to help workers, residents, students and patients feel and perform better.

Several studies globally have indicated that wood products can play a role in this – helping connect people with nature, reducing their heart rates and stress levels.

At TTJ, we believe this is a great opportunity for wood products – if interior designers and architects become more aware of these potential benefits it could lead to increased specification of timber, be it flooring, interior cladding, exposed structural wood beams or items of joinery/furniture.

At the TTJ Awards on September 21, we announced a conference – Wood and Wellness, which TTJ will hold on February 13 in central London.

The aim is to educate and inform both the timber sector and the specification/design audience, looking at global scientific research, case studies and marketing potential. Panel discussions will also be held on the subject.

In this age of digitalisation and technology it’s quite possible that we all need to re-connect with nature.

We will be releasing more information on this exciting event in the coming weeks and we welcome input from the timber industry. Watch this space!

This issue also contains full coverage of this year’s TTJ Awards, which I’m pleased to report saw 400 guests enjoy hospitality at the InterContinental Hotel, Park Lane, with comedian Jo Caulfield providing the entertainment.

It’s always great to see the timber industry having a good time and celebrating its achievements, with some fantastic wins, such as Wiehag’s triumph in the Achievement in Engineered Timber category – its stunning timber roof at the Macallan Whisky Distillery is surely one of the most impressive timber structures in recent years. It was also good to see Peter Latham win the Lifetime Achievement Award.