Bamboo Still has a Central Role to Play in Construction

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Robison Wells

A material that has been used for millennia in construction doesn’t show any signs of stopping being useful in the modern era. Used for everything from scaffolding to bridges to waterways to entire buildings, bamboo has been used in Asia and South America for thousands of years. It has many benefits, not the least of which are that it’s very strong, very flexible, and grows extremely quickly.

One example of bamboo being used to build things is a place called Green Village. Located on the island of Bali, Indonesia, the houses and villas there were built by IBUKU, an architecture and design company.

“In the forest, for a bamboo pole to mature it takes three to four years,” Elora Hardy, IBUKU’s founder and creative director, told CNBC’s “Sustainable Energy.”

“And, on top of that, it’s growing within a clump that’s just sending up a new generation of shoots every year for decades, so there’s no replanting,” she added.

Referring to a house in the village, Hardy explained that, “the day that it was completed, it was made out of material none of which existed five or six years before.”

According to its website, IBUKU uses a type of bamboo called Dendrocalamus asper, which can be found in Java and Bali. A chemical element called boron is used to treat the bamboo to ensure it can’t be eaten by insects.

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