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BUILDING WITH GRASS

Bamboo is often associated with the vernacular, the impermanent. This way of thinking is rooted in the traditional experience of bamboo structures having a short lifespan. Structures using untreated bamboo will quickly disintegrate within a few years but modern technology and studies done with bamboo paved the way to extend its lifespan for up to a lifetime (with proper treatment and maintenance). This breakthrough places bamboo on the list of the most sustainable building materials of the future.

 

There is no one correct method in bamboo treatment. Several Pioneers in the bamboo industry has been using different methods and modifying them to suit their needs depending on available resources, scale, etc, For this particular project, Vertical Soak & Diffusion (VSD) treatment was used. VSD was developed by the Environmental Bamboo Foundation (EBF) in Indonesia. The VSD method is suitable for small projects with limited resources since it doesn’t need machineries and other heavy pieces of equipment.

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HARVESTING

Harvesting mature bamboo poles at the right season is a key factor to the success of treatment and preservation.

  1. Harvest Bamboo 4-5 years of age

  2. Harvest during the dry season when bamboo has the lowest starch content

treatment

modelling

Modelling is an integral part in bamboo architecture. As a building material, bamboo is first tested on models to check the feasibility of the design to be built with the material. The use of bamboo as modelling material gives the designer an insight on how the actual structure will be built. 

Below are a few of our exploratory models.

BASE CONNECTION DETAILS and JOINERY

In order to preserve the quality and structural integrity of bamboo, all poles (especially the ones used for columns) should be lifted off the ground. The following steel base connections were studied to mount bamboo columns on concrete pedestals. With faster construction and modularity in mind, these bases were fabricated to accommodate different design iterations of buildings using bamboo columns. This section studies three different types of steel bases; single pinned, double pinned, and triple pinned

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WAITING SHED

This schematic model studies the use of two triple-pin connections and one single-pin connection as bases. The viability of the earlier study on pin connection details was tested on this project

EMERGENCY TRANSITIONAL SHELTER

This is a schematic model of a transitional shelter that can house 2 families. Part of the design brief is to limit bamboo pole lengths to 5 meters for mobility or ease of transport to areas affected by calamities.

RECIPROCAL TOWER

The Reciprocal Tower is based on the Reciprocal Frame structural system, a type of space structure. This model has the following parameters

 

Base Diameter: 190 mm

 

Waist Diameter: 125 mm

 

Waist Height: 300 mm

 

Number of Poles/Sticks: 16 (8 per rotation)

 

Interval Parameter: 2 marks

 

Joinery/Binding material: Shoes glue

 

Base: Hot glue on carton board

 

construction

Construction of a small bamboo structure in Davao City. This project is part of the studio's Research and Development and is an attempt to actualize the research done on bamboo as a building material.  

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