Q: What kind of bamboo is used to build your houses and where does it come from?
A: ‘Petung’, Dendrocalamus Asper, which comes from Bali and Java. It grows in small clumps along the river valley, usually on privately owned land, so we purchase our bamboo from hundreds of individual farmers.
Q: How much bamboo is required to build an average-sized villa at Green Village?
A: Our 300sqm houses at Green Village Bali contain +8100 running meters of bamboo structure or approximately 1200 poles. An additional +3000m is used in interior finishing.
Q: Does bamboo lose its form after a while?
A: Bamboo is a flexible and tensile material with the strength equivalent to steel. We account for the flexibility in the engineering process and work to ensure our bamboo maintains its integrity over time.
Q: Is it easy to have access to large quantities of bamboo?
A: Yes, bamboo is plentiful in river valleys throughout Asia, and the clumps regenerate each year. Bamboo is ready for use as a building material at age 3-5 years.
Q: You mentioned the “new treatment methods have given the bamboo a new capacity for long life.” What kind of treatment methods are we talking about?
A: Our main treatment uses a boron solution that suppress the glucose inside the bamboo and renders it inedible for insects.
Q: Does it include the use of chemicals, or is the bamboo treated naturally?
A: The bamboo is treated naturally with boron, a chemical element found in nature – for example in the Great Salt Lake, USA. It is only slightly more toxic than table salt and is perfectly safe to use in a family home.
Q: What is the life span of bamboo?
A: Structural performance of our structures based on our engineers’ calculations is a minimum of 25 years. There are bamboo structures in South America and Europe that are over 100 years old. If the bamboo is chosen well, treated properly, designed carefully and maintained, a bamboo house can last a lifetime.
Q: How does the bamboo survive in the sun and rain?
A: Our bamboo houses are designed and built to avoid prolonged sun and rain exposure. The bamboo is also coated with a weather resistant coating.
Q: What kind of maintenance is required in the long run?
A: Properly treated and selected, mature bamboo in a well-designed structure does not require significant structural maintenance. The bamboo should only be treated once, before construction begins; additional treatments against insects are not necessary. The roof of a bamboo house must be maintained to protect the columns from prolonged rain contact and direct sun exposure; poles that are exposed should be monitored and protected and joints reviewed every few years to confirm that they remain secure. Re-coating both structural and interior bamboo every 2-4 years will improve its appearance and longevity, and we anticipate that the quality of and technology behind coatings will advance over time, including waterproofing and UV resistance. Long-term maintenance is primarily cosmetic refinishing.
Q: Has the company done any Life Cycle Assessment/Analysis (LCA) on the bamboo products?
A: IBUKU works with testing labs in Jakarta and Singapore. Test results confirm our bamboo density and treatment absorption.