With the increasing awareness for the well-being of our planet, innovators are coming up with new ways to decrease humans impact on Earth. To sustainably continue our existence on Earth, we must implement new technologies and audit outdated standards. The realization that humans are destroying our only home and cannot continue the same behavior without dire consequences, has accelerated a sustainable revolution which may very well be the change which is necessary for human existence to continue.
Some of the basic necessities for humans on earth to survive include air, water, food, and shelter. Without these we are almost guaranteed death. Considering the importance these necessities hold in our lives, as an intelligent species we have not done a very good job at preserving them. We pollute our environment with such absence of mind that these resources are beginning to dwindle. Some innovators however are coming up with solutions to decrease our impact on the environment while providing for one of the core necessities to survival. One of these innovators in Bali, Indonesia, is providing answers to the questions of sustainable architecture.
Founded by Orin Hardy and Maria Farrugia, Bamboo U(niversity)'s intention is to share unique design and construction methods. The curriculum has inspired builders internationally to bring the sustainable approach back to their own homes. Participants of the 11-day intensive live on campus in bamboo buildings, while actively partaking in a series of on site workshops. The knowledge they leave with includes that of bamboo modeling, craftsmanship, sustainable approaches to design/construction, the bamboo life cycle, and building 1:1 structures.
Since bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world, it can be sustainably harvested and used to restore degraded landscapes. Although its use as a building material, has been around for thousands of years, it hadn't been taken seriously in modern times. This was due to its susceptibility to insect predation which lessens its longevity. This changed in the 1990’s with the discovery of a new boron based treatment method that eliminated bamboo’s restrictions as a practical building material. Bamboo is earthquake resistant and has the tensile strength of steel making it as efficient as other more commonly used building materials.
Bamboo U was an idea originally designed to teach working professionals the potential of bamboo as a sustainable building material. Architects and engineers from all over the globe travel to the Bamboo U campus to gain hands on experience with this versatile medium. In collaboration with bamboo design firm IBUKU, Bamboo U provides the opportunity to gain hands on experience in all phases of the building process from conception to design, culminating in the final project of constructing a bamboo building. During their stay, participants also have the opportunity to soak in inspiration from the neighboring Green School, an internationally acclaimed campus made entirely of bamboo. Learning from the architects, designers, and craftsman who built the cutting-edge school, provides the opportunity to immerse oneself in the wondrous material.
A new era of designers and builders are looking to bridge the gap between tradition and innovation. Through this combination a truly unique style of architecture has been born, one that does not sacrifice style or function. Due to lack of knowledge, sustainable building was not considered a practical option in modern architecture. Now that the knowledge exists, ignorance is no longer an excuse to being irresponsible. It’s up to us today, to make sure that future generations have a place to thrive.
If you interested in learning more about the Bamboo U program you can go to:
By Sky Cutler
Looking to the future of sustainable architecture in Bali, Indonesia