Aesthetics in Sustainable Biophilic Design




Much has been written about biophilic design and how humans resonate with wood in their built environments. This resonance with wood reflects the connection between trees and humans.

Humans yearn to connect with nature on a cellular level, especially in our interior spaces, where we spend nearly 90% of our time. It is more important than ever, during these difficult pandemic times, where many of us are sequestered, that we do all we can to wrap ourselves in the calming influence of nature.

Surrounding yourself with wood in your environments can help to relax your autonomic nervous system, thereby improving your health and sense of wellbeing.

Humans symbiotically connect with wood on a basic level. Approximately 18% of humans’ genetic code matches that of trees, while trees and humans are nearly equal in the amount of carbon and water in their composition. We exhale CO2, while trees inhale the CO2 and exhale oxygen, the true definition of symbiosis. While biophilic design is a noble goal, some of its benefits can be lost in the search for perfection in matching grain patterns and color in solid wood floors and joinery. Trees, like humans are all unique. Trying to find perfectly matching color and grain patterns in solid for interiors and exteriors can be a difficult, wasteful and often futile challenge. It is important that the wood surrounding us reflect the diversity of trees and their individual color and grain patterns. This reminds us that our flooring, decking, cladding, soffits and fascia are genuine products of the forest.


LIGNIA in Biophilic Design

The LIGNIA wood modification process produces a consistent honey colored board that offers a pleasing aesthetic visual effect across a span of interior flooring or outdoor decking, while not being of identical grain patterns.

Each tree, like every human, has a distinct “fingerprint” or grain pattern. In its quartersawn decking form, the straight grain appearance result of quartersawing will result in a relatively consistent pattern and color across a boat deck while allowing each board to show its uniqueness.

Even as a color counterpoint in a project involving other species of wood in a space, LIGNIA performs its aesthetic function extremely well. Other species of wood in flooring can have wild fluctuations of color with stark contrasts between the heartwood and sapwood.
LIGNIA’s modified wood can offer a soothing color tone as a background to the overall design of the space. While it can be painted, LIGNIA in its natural appearance can serve as an aesthetically pleasing flooring foundation for a variety of interior designs.
It also features visually impressive clear widths and lengths and hardness that exceeds many hardwoods, including teak.



LIGNIA is approved for interior use as well as exterior use.

It has been deemed compliant with the performance standards established for low-emitting materials under the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) and the LEED v4 programs.

It is listed with the MAS Certified Green Program.

Criswell Davis is the Founding Director of Timber and Forestry Foundation. He is a leading expert in the field of American hardwoods and advises some of the largest architecture and design firms in the world. 


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Criswell Davis

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