Conservation means innovation, says French Douglas Association
Well it's not a scoop to us treehuggers that wood as a construction material is one of the most sustainable alternatives to concrete and oil derived products. If well managed, a forest can provide timber for centuries without being harmed. And who said wood architecture does not allow to challenge perspectives and basic shapes ? With its gallery and map of douglas-fir based buildings, France-Douglas association has done a good job promoting this highly durable species, requiring very little, if none, artificial preservation treatment. Originally found in North-West America (Oregon, Washington, British Columbia), Douglas Firs were imported to Europe by Scottich botanist Sir David Douglas in 1827. Apart from the lovely grapefruit smell coming out of its resin, Douglas Fir rapidly became known for its remarquable adaptation to the moutain climate of french alps and plantations started going wild after 1960 for reforestation purpose. It is now more common there than the local Epicea and that's for the best as it also produces very good construction timber.
What struck us is the beauty of douglas fir beams, light rosy set off by a remarkably straight grain pattern. Its physical characteristics, light and strong at the same time, allow the builder to use it inside or outside, and play with it as its shrinking properties are less disturbing than other species.
We hope you'll enjoy France-Douglas association's portfolio (click on réalisations / localisation to display the clickable map) and we are eagerly waiting for you to notify your own Douglas Fir creations !
[by Erwan Pianezza, Locronan, Brittany]