Grow Your Own House! Building With Bamboo

Categories: Building Methods

BAMBOO offers an ecologically viable alternative to timber for construction. Bamboo is an extremely fast growing plant. Construction grade material is available in three years as opposed to ten to twenty years for timber. Unlike trees, harvesting does not kill the bamboo plant so an erosion problem is not created. Bamboo can grow in soil damaged by erosion, overgrazing or commercial agriculture and has been used for centuries for erosion control for that reason.. In tensile strength bamboo is the equivalent of a mild steel (15,000psi).


Bamboo fibers are approximately ten times as strong as the wood fibers currently used in construction. Therefore, much smaller and lighter weight members of bamboo or engineered bamboo products can be used in place of timber and engineered timber products thereby reducing the amount of material being transported and used in construction.


Bamboo offers an opportunity for greater personal sovereignty. Individuals can literally grow their own home. An area the size of the building to be built can grow enough bamboo to build that building in five years, in the sixth year two buildings that size can be built from the same grove, in the seventh, three and so on.


Structural bamboo is now being treated with borates to create a long lasting insect and fungus resistant building material. In Costa Rica seventeen hundred homes a year are being built with bamboo under a government sponsored program using a borate treatment process. the wastes from the process are used to feed the bamboo plantations since boron is a necessary nutrient for plant growth. In Colombia, structural bamboo is being used to create large public buildings with arches spanning ninety feet. Our team has designed and constructed a number of smaller structures in bamboo in the Hawaiian islands. Obtaining a building permit has typically been a lengthy and tedious process since there is as yet no code standard to which the building officials can be referred.


The University of Hawaii is currently putting in an ICBO approved lab to test the primary species of bamboo used for construction so standards for the Uniform Building Code are not far off.

Here Are Some More Beautiful Bamboo Builds:





You can grow with it and build it, or yes, even buy one, but I share this video because I like seeing the responses to bamboo homes:

  Page Turn