Bamboo has remained to be one of the untapped materials in the construction industry. As a construction material, it is relatively inexpensive and readily available, especially in bamboo growing countries. Despite the low preference of this material in the construction industry, constructors have started to increase their attention to it in recent years. However, the question in contention is whether it is worth building a bamboo house. Here are a few thoughts towards such a dilemma.
How Bamboo Has Been Incorporated in the Construction Industry
Bamboo has been incorporated in the mainstream construction industry interestingly. Some construction companies have adopted this material in creating a wide range of construction materials such as screens, panels, and interior house accessories.
However, some people have held on to traditional bamboo housing techniques, especially in Asian and Latin American countries where bamboo gardens are in plenty. Most of these people use bamboo in building survival shelters.
The Best type of Construction Bamboo
There are roughly about 1500 bamboo species that are known on the planet. However, only a few of the species are ideal for construction. Valuable species that are ideal for construction are Guadua, Dendrocalamus, Phyllostachys, and Guadua Angustifolia. The Guadua species has gained a lot of popularity, and there is a lot of campaign to invest in planting them.
Benefits of Using Bamboo as a Construction Material
There are a couple of benefits that bamboo adds in construction. Some of these benefits are:
- They are 35% better in absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen in the air compared with hardwood trees
- There is very little waste generated in their usage. Virtually every part of the bamboo plant is used in a particular function
- Bamboo is versatile and can be used in different applications other than construction. It can be used in making furniture, flooring, charcoal, and paper.
- Bamboo is safe due to its lightweight and is ideal for earthquake-prone areas due to its elasticity
- Bamboo houses are comfortable especially in tropical regions where there are extremely high temperatures during summer
- Bamboo requires minimal technology during construction. Therefore, its usage cuts down the costs used in including technology in the construction
- Bamboo houses are durable as long as you choose the right species, consider the proper preservation techniques and replace outdated parts regularly
Considerations for Building a Bamboo House
Constructing a bamboo house involves simple DIY procedures that are easy to consider. You only need help from one person or two to get the job done. Building a bamboo house involves the following:
Pick the Right Bamboo for Construction
The best bamboo for construction should have a sturdy and columnar structure. Cut them down to size with a sharp machete. You do not need any nails for the construction, making the process more convenient. You also need vines and stakes to join the bamboo trees together.
Look for an Ideal Building Spot
A good bamboo house construction spot should be close to a reliable source of water, firm, and dry. Also, the location needs to be flat and close to a bamboo garden or groove to ease your movement.
Prepare the Bamboo
There are two ways that one should prepare the bamboo. The first option involves stripping the bamboo and weaving them into walls. In this process, the bamboo walls need plastering with mud to make a sturdy wall.
The second option involves setting up bamboo poles and erecting a roof on top, leaving space on the side.
Each option has its purpose. The first option is ideal for a complete house, which can survive an extended period while the second one is good for a temporary resting place.
Build the Foundation
Look for four large and sturdy bamboo poles that you will set up at the corner of your house. Dig the holes to place the poles and ensure that it is about a foot or so. Cover the tips of the poles with a plastic bag before you insert them into the hole. This is essential in protecting the columns from moisture once they are in the ground.
Create the Wall Frame
Once the foundation is complete, you should choose to use weaved wall or fill in the spaces between the columns with slimmer bamboo strips. The slender poles should be a meter away from each other to allow smaller poles to be nailed on them.
Erect the Roof
Ordinarily, bamboo houses use truss to build the roof. It starts with the roof frame to hold the roofing material. Once it is done, one can proceed in completing the roof using materials such as sheet metal, tarp, tree bark, or slate.
Finish the Construction
Complete the construction process by adding windows, doors, and the floor. Once you are done with this process, you can settle into your shelter.
Constructing a bamboo house is quite simple. Even so, you need to be aware that such constructions are not sturdy enough to withstand harsh weather and strong earthquake. All the same, if you are looking to build a shelter to relax during summer, then building a bamboo house should be your first idea.