In many parts of the world, bamboo architecture is common because hardwood trees are scarce, making lumber too expensive. While bamboo is actually a woody grass rather than a tree, it is extremely strong despite being a lightweight material. Because numerous bamboo poles are lightweight, the items are easy for people to carry from one location to another. In addition, builders do not need heavy-duty equipment to lift sections of bamboo to higher levels to create building frames or rooftops. Bamboo buildings are popular in locations such as tropical islands, South America or Asia where simple structures that do not require extensive heating or cooling systems are acceptable.
Bamboo is Bendable
Sturdy bamboo poles are also useful for making bridges to walk over streams, and the materials are inexpensive and simple to transport. A knowledgeable builder can bend sections of bamboo to make decorative railings on bridges. Simple huts are the only types of homes possible for people in some countries where the yearly income is low. A hut in the Philippines is often 100 percent bamboo with a woven thatched roof, bamboo floor mats and bamboo supported walls. In towns and cities in Asia or India, multistory buildings are constructed entirely of bamboo, and the builders work on the structures from bamboo scaffolding.
It is possible for technicians to create laminated planks and sheets from sections of bamboo with a process that includes:
- Cutting the bamboo stalks
- Flattening the sections
- Boiling the strips
- Drying the sections
- Gluing, pressing and adding a protective finish to the bamboo
To avoid rotting materials or insect infestations, a technician may apply a mixture of natural boric acid to bamboo. Alternatively, to prevent insect invasions into a building, technicians can boil bamboo sections to remove the starchy substances that attract ants and cockroaches.
Environmentalists enjoy bamboo structures because the material is sustainable. Some species of bamboo will grow over 30-inches in only one day while a tree must grow for several years before it is ready for harvesting. Bamboo buildings are often long-lasting, and there are bamboo structures that are hundreds of years old. A few architects specialize in designing buildings and other structures that are made from bamboo poles and other bamboo materials. At Forever Bamboo, it is easy to order the bamboo materials needed to construct architectural items such as gazebos or playhouses.