Guide to an eco-friendly Bamboo house!

Bamboo houses look amazing and they are extremely eco-friendly too. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could live in a Bamboo house in a tropical paradise? This is a guide to show you how to build and live in your own eco-friendly bamboo house!

Bamboo house construction materials

The accessibility and availability of the Bamboo construction material is an important point to consider before making definite plans for your Bamboo house. The building materials should be mostly traditional and the house will need minimal foundations due to the low weight. The walls need to be constructed using wall panels that are assembled from Bamboo grids that are split and steel chicken mesh, this needs to be plastered over with cement mortar. The overall cost of these components will be quite low. One of the reasons that houses are made from Bamboo in earthquake zones is the fact that the houses can sway back and forth due to Bamboo’s elasticity.

Bamboo is a renewable plant that has a short rotation period. A Bamboo tree will grow to full size in a year and by 2 to 3 years old, the plant will be at full strength. Bamboo is very versatile and can be grown on degraded soil and it does not need much water to grow. When you build a Bamboo house, longevity should be the main focus. The eco-friendly benefits of using less cement or steel in the construction process helps the environment.

Bali

A Bamboo house in Bali

Harvesting of Bamboo

There are two harvesting seasons for Bamboo, the tropics harvest during the dry season and the subtropics harvests during the autumn and winter. When the Bamboo is harvested the branches need to be removed from the stem and this avoids any damage to the outer skin. It is advisable to store the Bamboo canes vertically, as horizontal storage can lead to the canes bending out of shape.

After harvesting, the Bamboo canes need to be protected from the sun, rain, soil and moisture. There are two methods of drying Bamboo, either through air-circulation, which takes 6 to 12 weeks or by using a kiln, this is a faster method of drying. Bamboo canes need to be dry for them to work best on your eco-friendly Bamboo house.

A Bamboo house in Vietnam

A Bamboo house in Vietnam

Bamboo preservation

The Bamboo canes need to be preserved after harvesting to prevent invasion of insects, pests and fungus. If the Bamboo canes are not treated then the poles would not last for more than 2 years. There are 3 methods of treatment.

Immersion: the freshly cut Bamboo canes are immersed in water for 4 to 12 weeks and the nourishment that the insects need is removed from the poles. Ponds and streams are fine to use for this, but not salt water.

Impregnating coatings: this method involves feeding the pole with a borax/borate solution until the liquid is visible at the other end.

Heating: the Bamboo canes are heated in this method by using a kiln that set to 1500C/350F. Another method is place the canes in an oven and cook for 25 minutes.

A Bamboo house in Thailand

A Bamboo house in Thailand

Final thoughts on a Bamboo houses

These are a few tips for harvesting and preserving Bamboo for you Bamboo house project. Bamboo houses are very popular in Southeast Asia for locals and for tourist accommodation. You can always buy a ready made home made from Bamboo and then construct it yourself. Here at Everything Bamboo we believe that environmentally friendly Bamboo houses are the way forward.

You should also take a look at our reviews of Bamboo sheets, Bamboo foam mattresses, Bamboo duvet covers, Bamboo towels, Bamboo pillows and Bamboo shades.

Jennifer Miller
 

Chief editor here at Everything Bamboo, I'm a proud mother of three passionate about the environment and ways to live healthier!

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