Promoting the safe use of wood products in healthcare buildings by developing surfaces, hygiene concepts and guidelines


Project WOODforHEALTH is supported under the umbrella of ERA-NET Cofund ForestValue by Ministry of the Environment of Finland, Latvian Council of Science, the Research Council of Norway and Vinnova Sweden's Innovation Agency. ForestValue has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N° 773324.


Project information

Project duration


Funded by

Other Finnish

Funding amount

1 318 000 EUR

Project coordinator

University of Oulu

Contact information

Project leader

Project description

The aim of the WOOD for HEALTH project is to promote the use of wood in healthcare buildings and to propose new European guidelines for that purpose.

The project is led by the University of Oulu from Northern Finland, and the partners include three institutes from Latvia, Norway and Germany focused solely on wood research, two companies from Latvia and Germany manufacturing coatings and a Swedish architecture firm with acknowledged expertise in healthcare buildings. To support the project operators, both national groups and an international expert group will be set up.

The project will study the cleanliness and cleanability of wooden surfaces, develop innovative antimicrobial and breathable coatings and compile the first European guidelines on using wood in different premises and surfaces of health care buildings. Three different approaches have been planned for the development of new coatings, and coatings that create a film as well as completely breathable coatings without films are included. Natural polymers are also being experimented with in the coatings as antimicrobial factors instead of traditional toxic chemical compounds. Processed and unprocessed wooden surfaces are being studied in terms of hygiene, mechanical and chemical durability, light resistance, flammability and water vapour permeability. All of these are significant properties in health care premises.