WBPF Session VII:
Biophilia in the built environment

october 13, 2022 | 1500 - 1700 PT | hOSTED VIA zOOM

Following the success of the 2021-22 Wood Best Practices Forums, we are pleased to announce the continuation of the series for the new 2022-23 fiscal year programming.  Session VII will cover Biophilia in the Built Environment.

Please join us for the Wood Best Practices Forum, Session VII, on biophilia in the built environment. As a building material, wood can play an important role in biophilic design, whether it’s as structural elements or interior finishes. Studies have shown how such design elements are correlated with health benefits.

The session will look at the role wood plays in biophilic design and construction including some recent projects using these design principles. Speakers include experts from a range of backgrounds and sectors including wood and manufacturing, health, and research.



Event Schedule

October 13, 2022 | 15:00-17:00 PT

Cassie Cai

Natural Resources Canada

Opening remarks

Biography: Cassie Cai

Cassie Cai is the Acting Manager and Senior Market Development Officer of the Expanding Market Opportunities Program (EMO – International) at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). Before she joined NRCan, Cassie was the Trade Commissioner for forest products and infrastructure at the Embassy of Canada in China. She studied International Relations and Political Science at the University of Toronto and Peking University.

David Fell

Forestry Innovation Investment

Biophilia – Introduction to Biophilia

David Fell’s presentation will introduce and explain the concept of biophilia. The presentations will also describe the benefits of biophilia, the biophilic elements of biophilia that can be applied to buildings and the role of wood in biophilic design

Biography: David Fell

David is the Director of Research and Analysis at Forestry Innovation Investment with a portfolio spanning international trade, wood construction, and biophilia.   He completed his Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia researching the connection between wood and health in the built environment.  David was recently the scientific advisor for a biophilic design documentary; OutsideIn.

Bill Browning

Terrapin Bright Green LLC

The Nature of Wood an Exploration of the Science on Biophilic Responses to Wood

Mass timber construction is gaining attention in the architectural world. Timber construction can have significant benefits in reducing the embodied carbon footprint of buildings. If sourced from sustainably managed forests and produced locally, these building components can store more carbon than is emitted in their production. Another major reason for the attention to mass timber likely is that we find wood to be natural and beautiful Mr. Browing’s presentation asks the question, why do we prefer wood and the science of having a ‘biophilic’ response to wood

Biography: Bill Browning

Bill Browning is one of the green building and real estate industry’s foremost thinkers and strategists, and an advocate for sustainable design solutions at all levels of business, government, and civil society.

In 2004, Bill was the Director of Design and Environment for Haymount, a New Urbanist community in Virginia where he led the development’s site planning, and guided development of innovative infrastructure systems. In 2005 he co-founded Browning+Bannon LLC, an independent real estate and consulting firm focused on environmentally responsive development.

Bill also writes and lectures widely on sustainable design and building practices. He has published articles in Architectural Record, Progressive Architecture, Urban Land, and AIA’s Environmental Resource Guide. His work has been featured in the many publications including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post.  

In 2006, Bill founded Terrapin with his long-time partners to craft high-performance environmental strategies for corporations, governments, and large-scale real estate developments. His diverse clients include Cacique Resort in Costa Rica, Starwood’s Element hotel brand, NRDC, PNB Malaysia, New Songdo City in Korea, InterfaceFLOR, Bank of America and the National Geographic Society. Bill is based in Washington, D.C.

Brad Kirkbride

Western Red Cedar Lumber Association

Dr. Alan Bates

BC Cancer

Wood Use in Healthcare Settings

Jointly, Brad Kirkbride and Dr. Bates will describe their collaborative efforts in the use of Western Red Cedar finishing materials in the latest BC Cancer Supportive Care Center Their presentation will show how biophilic design has proven to provide substantial therapeutic benefits that expedite healing and recovery. Wood, such as Western Rec Cedar, is essential when it comes to designing health care facilities by providing a calming warm, soothing environment throughout the building, creating an environment where patients will be more receptive to the many healing services the centre has to offer.

Biography: Brad Kirkbride

Brad Kirkbride is the Managing Director of the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association.  Established in 1954 as a non-profit trade association, the WRCLA is the voice of the Western Red Cedar industry representing manufacturers, distributors and supply chain partners.

Prior to joining the WRCLA in 2019, Mr. Kirkbride was the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Western Forest Products. Mr. Kirkbride has over 40 years of experience in the forest products industry beginning his career with Macmillan Bloedel Ltd in lumber sales.  Mr. Kirkbride has managed sawmills and business in both Canada and the USA.  Prior to joining Western, Mr. Kirkbride was the President of Mary’s River Lumber Co. – a cedar business headquartered in Oregon with operations in both Oregon and Washington.

Mr. Kirkbride holds a B. Comm degree from the University of British Columbia and sits on several forestry related boards.

Biography: Dr. Alan Bates

Dr. Alan Bates finished a PhD focused on neuroimaging at the University of Nottingham before completing his MD and Psychiatry residency at the University of British Columbia. He then completed a fellowship in Psychosomatic Medicine (Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry) and Psycho-oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre. Dr. Bates has published peer-reviewed articles on topics ranging from brain imaging to palliative care and has a special interest in physical fitness and teamwork as interventions for improving mental health. He received the 2018 Canadian Psychiatric Association Early Career Achievement in Psychiatry Award, and his volunteer work has been recognized through a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and participation in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay. He is the Provincial Practice Leader for Psychiatry at BC Cancer, Clinical Associate Professor at UBC, and Past-President of the British Columbia Psychiatric Association.


Forestry Innovation Investment

Resources and Discussion

An overview will be provided on existing resources on the subject of biophilia and lead a group discussion on the subject of the market uptake of biophilic design.