The Realilty About Building With Bamboo
Categories: Building Methods
Although Bamboo is aestheticly pleasing, this material needs to be treated in order to prevent it from deteriorating, remember it is a grass, and it needs to be treated in order to strengthen and turn it into a building material.
What does it cost to build a bamboo house? This is the million dollar question everybody likes to have a clean cut answer too. But, make no mistake, building with bamboo requires resources! The myth (and book about) "Grow Your Own House" let people believe that building with bamboo is far cheaper than any other building material. In reality however (at present time), this is a utopia.
Considerations Before Building with Bamboo
First of all, the USA and Europe do not have approved building codes for permanent bamboo structures (yet)! This might change soon, because bamboo has proven its value, however, for now, bureaucratic and political agendas are standing in the way.
On the other hand, building with bamboo is slowly becoming more popular and main stream in Latin America. But based on our previous experiences, especially in the rural areas of Latin America, nothing goes streamlined or easy!
So here is a list of considerations before building with bamboo. The cost of a bamboo house or structure will depend on:
1. The Bamboo Supplier
2. Location and Availability of Craftsmen
3. Budget and Standards
4. Design Shape and Grade of Difficulty
5. Professional Fees
6. Prefab Bamboo Homes vs Custom Bamboo Homes
Prefab bamboo homes are not cheap. Keep in mind all these houses need to be assembled, disassembled, shipped and reassembled again. Import duties in Costa Rica for example are near 30% (based on the value of the product + shipping cost).
Even with a prefabricated bamboo house you will still require the signature of an architect, building permits, preparation of the terrain, all electricity and sanitary installations, assembly of the house etc.