21.03.2023. Rest is an important time to recharge one’s batteries and have a healthy approach to daily work. Sitting by the pool, facing the river Sangha, an ingeniously built hut entices our colleagues in the Republic of Congo to kick back and enjoy their spare time. With long-lasting friends: Kosipo, a magnificent 8 meter long slab of wood hosting lunches and barbecues; and beautifully durable Tali, alternating with Padouk and Wenge, which artfully results in a superb decking.
Those names stand for some of the most durable hardwood that IHC responsibly harvests in the rainforest that surrounds the village of Ngombé, according to the principles and criteria of FSC® certification (Forest Stewardship Council®, FSC® C022952).
At IHC, we like to think of wood as ‘our second forest’. Just as the Ngombé forest, this project brims with a high number of wood species. Lingering around the impressive Kosipo table is a no-brainer. Its warm scent invites chatting, listening to music or enjoying a meal with friends.
A game of darts? Playing creates a comfortable atmosphere, easing stress. The hut has no doors or glass panes, to really invite the outside in and create a seamless connection with the surroundings. From the Sangha river, flowing close-by, rises a natural breeze that mixes with the scent of wood, obviously free from chemicals or synthetic compounds.
Padouk, with its auburn beams and posts, superbly hits the bull’s eye. Wenge’s dark contours break up the decking boards, only to frame their natural beauty. Contrast is starker where boards are made from the light, almost sunset-imbibed Tali.
Healthy wood makes the hut a safe place to hang out and get to know each other better. Research has shown that untreated wood materials have antimicrobial properties. Wooden chair arms are more hostile to bacteria than plastic or metal tiles. Wood protects against a wide range of pathogens.
On this International Day of Forests, celebrated worldwide on 21 March, the dry season is in full swing in Ngombé. The rains are getting long overdue and climate change is no stranger to the disruption of natural cycles. If the dry season grows longer in Congo, the forest and its inhabitants will be in trouble. It is precisely the rain in the rainforest that makes such a wealth of plants and animals thrive. When the rain is gone, NASA warns, trees and vegetation are affected, and so are people.
At Interholco, we do our part to deliver healthy wood from healthy forests, free from deforestation. And we certify it. In addition, we keep our suppliers’ forests on our radar, to check that the wood we procure is also deforestation-free. Satellite imagery alerts us in near-real time, when fires or unusual events occur. Then, we travel on the ground once per year, to complete desktop research. In 2021, no deforestation was recorded at our suppliers, only temporary forest cover change as part of selective harvesting.
Wood is an organic and renewable natural resource that is abundantly used for eco-friendly constructions. Designing with wood covers the whole spectrum, from leisure to business to healthcare.
Let’s celebrate forests with Sustainable Hardwood – Made in Africa!
All photos © Interholco.
INTERHOLCO offers Sustainable Hardwood 'Made in Africa' as a responsible solution to promote better living conditions (construction with wood), reduce climate change, and increase social justice. As FSC-certified producer specialized in producing and trading logs, sawn timber, glued laminated scantlings and other products, INTERHOLCO manages the entire chain, from forest to customers since 1962. Harvesting wood selectively, INTERHOLCO protects 1.1 million hectares of natural forest from permanent conversion to agricultural land, giving 16’000 local inhabitants access to quality basic services and keeping the habitat of thousands of gorillas and elephants.
Communications contact INTERHOLCO
Tullia Baldassarri Höger von Högersthal
INTERHOLCO AG, Neuhofstr. 25, 6340 Baar, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 (0)41 767 03 82