As we know it
Green living is the need of the hour. Bamboo, the wonder grass, is on offer. Though traditionally know for its building properties, bamboo is yet to earn its eligible repute in modern construction industry. For ages, bamboo has been used for construction of houses, making utility and decorative items in China and many Asian and south-east Asian nations.
Bamboo is the fastest growing plant and hence provides readily renewable construction material. It is the best alternative to hard wood in strength and s. Bamboo houses can be built quickly with minimal requirements. It can be assumed that in areas of natural calamities like earthquake, these houses will certainly be less damaging. Bamboo also offers cheap and green living option to home makers of today. But still, lack of awareness and the doubts over its potential has hindered the growth of bamboo based construction.
Need for change
With age and awareness, the myths behind usage of bamboo are slowly fading. From Hannover World Fair on sustainable living held in the year 2000, usage of bamboo in construction industry has rapidly increased. It will be news to many that âTimberâ bamboo species of this plant has as much compression capability as concrete and its strength-weight ratio with steel is nearly the same and it is the best alternative to hardwood, which takes years to grow. Keeping this fact in mind, many builders adopting green methods are employing bamboo based construction.
In green construction efforts, prefabricated bamboo is being used for construction, while flooring, molding, and paneling of the building are done with the bamboo components. And the interiors adorn furniture, window treatment and decorations made from bamboo. One such example is the Hawaiian Island green housing project where prefabricated bamboo is used to construct houses as quickly as one house per day. The applications of bamboo are still being researched and it is possible that sooner one can have more ways to use it in building houses.
1 Folding Bamboo House
What’s new: Fast, quick relief shelter for calamity affected people, the folded bamboo houses are designed by Ming Tang who had sensed the need of emergency shelters during earthquake in central China in May 2008. Attractive geometric structures are made completely of renewable materials.
What difference will it make: These structures can be folded and transported to calamity struck areas quickly and installed in minutes. Hence these are the best suited for earthquake like situations where people need immediate shelter.The making of this structure is inexpensive and environment friendly.
Problems: On the negative aspect, they are in real term temporary by all means. They do not provide adequate privacy to families during tough times. At the same time, it cannot stand harsh climatic condition.
What’s new: This is an inspiration to large scale farming community who prefers green survival techniques. The Mason Lane Farm operation facility services 2000 acre agriculture farm in eco-friendly way. The green building is meant to store farm products, and service and re-fuel farm equipment and vehicles. This low cost , eco- sustainable construction is mainly done with locally available bamboo and other naturally viable recyclable materials. It is a simple construction and also cheaper than prevalent concrete building and promotes green living.
What difference will it make: Bamboo lattice grid wall used in hay storage area allows natural light to enter and keep the hay dried. Bamboo has been distinctively used to provide the required looks to the building interiors.
Problems: The building may not sustain all weather conditions; the grid wall may allow rain water to gush in and drench dried hay and equipment stored in the building.
3 Modular Bamboo Home
What’s new: At one go, the thought of modular homes is clouded with steel and concrete. But this one, designed by a Canadian design consultancy firm, Gau Designs, will appeal for its green and posh concept. The Montreal based company has used pre fabricated bamboo for interior and exterior finishes while using mostly bamboo based construction with little metal work. To make it complete green house, the designers have chosen to slant the roof to place solar panels for fulfilling energy needs of the residents.
What difference will it make: This is the ideal concept for eco resorts and holiday homes or even for housing in bamboo rich localities.
Problems: This is affordable in regions rich in bamboo plantation, else the fabrication and transportation cost may increase the cost of building.