Bamboo – Gift of nature & Unique Material to built your future home
Bamboo – a supernatural plant, that grows in subtropical and tropical areas all over our planet. You will find more than 1400 species with a huge variety of uses. Next to handicrafts and furniture, even highly engineered products like trusses, OSB boards and other building materials can be made out of bamboo.
First of all, let me tell you some basics about the botanic of bamboo. The growth of each bamboo is highly dependent on the soil condition, the sea level and the water supply. Therefore, two bamboo culms of the same species, one grown in Iringa and the other one grown in the North Tanzanian Usambara Mountains, may have completely different sizes and properties. Unlike trees, bamboo culms already reach their final diameter while gaining height. Some tropical species grow up to one meter within 24 hours. Throughout the first years the bamboo is not gaining height or diameter, but strengthens its cellular structure. After three years it has matured and can be utilized for construction purposes. Bamboo culms of up to one year are mainly used for woven baskets, water pipes and panels. Culms of up to two years can be used for bamboo boards, whereas the young immature shoots are used as nutrition. Bamboo – a fast growing plant, locally available and applicable for manifold uses.
Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania you can find four bamboo species, more than any other African country. One species is used for the production of bamboo wine. Two other species of local bamboo have outstanding mechanical properties and are applicable for construction purposes. A group of German engineers who have vast experience in design, construction and project management will make use of that opportunity. Within Fumba Town project they developed a tailor-made truss solution for the construction of their prefab houses. The bamboo trusses, which will be used in Fumba Town homes are highly engineered and processed in their factory on Fumba peninsula and will be made from local bamboo resources. The engineered bamboo beams are able to bear huge loads and withstand heavy storms and even earthquakes or tsunamis. These are some other opportunities of building with natural materials compared to houses made of reinforced concrete. Unlike the engineered trusses for the housing construction, Livable Homes factory building will be made of full bamboo culms. You may have the chance to get a first sight of the factory building by mid of May 2016. For the training of local carpenters in building a factory hall with bamboo an expert from overseas will be on Zanzibar for a period of 5 weeks. His experiences from projects all over the world may influence the use and understanding of bamboo in Zanzibar in a positive way, but he will also be able to profit from local experience.
The project group is aiming to promote bamboo in Zanzibar and Tanzania mainland as an outstanding construction material throughout the next years. China already produces over 1600 products of bamboo, whereas African countries roughly produce 20 products made from bamboo. Let`s catch up and show the rising strength of African nations to the world!
source: Modern Living Magazine – powered by Tupomoja