Visual effects of wood on thermal perception of interior environments
There is a general consensus, supported by preliminary evidence, that exposed wood improves human perception of thermal comfort, though this idea has yet to be supported by meaningful effect sizes. This study sought to quantify human perception of thermal comfort of wood materials in a controlled laboratory setting. Participants experienced one of two wall treatments: exposed wooden wall panels and white-painted walls in a thermal environment set directly between “neutral” and “slightly warm” (81.5°F, 4Q%RH, PMV +Q.5). We hypothesized that participants exposed to the wood walls would gauge their thermal preference to be closer to neutral than that of participants who experienced the same thermal environment but with the white wall treatment. Wood was found to have a significant and moderate effect on thermal comfort, with the mean response of the participants who received the wood wall treatment being thermally preferable over that of the white wall (wood wall: M = Q.46, SD = Q.56; white wall: M = Q.68, SD = Q.51; p<Q.Q1).