Green Home Building and Sustainable Architecture

Sustainable architecture is an exciting and important field, with many people reviving traditional methods of building and others creating innovations to established practices. Kelly Hart, webmaster of the popular website www.greenhomebuilding.com, posts text and photos featuring what he discovers from around the world.

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Location: Crestone, Colorado, United States

Kelly Hart has been involved with green building concepts for much of his life. He has also worked in various fields of communication media, including still photography, cinematography, animation, video production and now website development. Kelly has lived in an earthbag/papercrete home that he built and consults about sustainable building design.

January 23, 2006

Bamboo Products

As an example of the wonderful array of objects that can be fashioned from bamboo, I have assembled a page of bamboo products: http://greenhomebuilding.com/Products/bambooproducts.htm

Here you can find large items such as gazebos, arbors, fences and gates and also just the canes themselves to construct your own useful things. A variety of finely crafted furniture, from tables and chairs to shelves and benches are displayed. Flooring materials, such as mats and tiles are available. Lots of home accents, like carvings and kitchenware or birdfeeders and waterfalls are shown. Finally, live bamboo plants are available so you can grow your own!

All of these items are sold by www.bamboo4sale.com and can be purchased at their website. They offer readers of this blog and of www.greenhomebuilding.com a 10% discount on all sales, if you enter this discount code when you order: GRNHB15

January 06, 2006

Bamboo

I have just created a new page at GreenHomeBuilding.com on bamboo as a building material. When I was first setting up this website, I somehow managed to ignore this very important plant.

Bamboo is one of the most amazingly versatile and sustainable building materials available. It grows remarkably fast and in a wide range of climates. It is exceedingly strong for its weight and can be used both structurally and as a finish material. The canes are beautiful when exposed and they can be cut in such a way as to be re-combined into useful products such as flooring. There is a long vernacular tradition to the use of bamboo in structures in many parts of the world, especially in more tropical climates, where it grows into larger diameter canes.

One tricky aspect to the use of bamboo is in the joinery; since its strength comes from its integral structure, it cannot be joined with many of the traditional techniques used with wood. This is where the old ways of building with bamboo can be especially informative. I expect that the value of bamboo as a building material will only become more apparent as we move toward a time of wood scarcity and high costs of energy.

For descriptions of over a dozen books on the general topic and a nice list of other links to more information, go to http://greenhomebuilding.com/bamboo.htm.