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Bamboo - The most sustainable building product on the planet

Updated: Mar 27



Since I was a child I've been in and out of over a dozen homes. Growing up my parents were Real Estate Investors and they would spend their spare time and money flipping our homes.


Some of the homes had big projects, and others small... I was always helping, working with them on home design, and this seemed rather normal for me. I graduated high school at 16 then received my Interior Design Diploma.


I found myself browsing the web a few years ago, stumbling upon Hideout Bali. An absolute Bamboo Paradise. Since locking my eyes on that photo I knew it was a place I had to be.

In 2018 I decided to pack my back and travel across Bali's archipelago.



HIDEOUT BALI


Hideout Bali is a secluded bamboo bungalow located in the rice fields of South-Eastern Bali.

Specifically the village of Alas Tunggal Duda - Selat Karangasem Area


About Ali and Jarmil


We first came to Bali in 2012 and as you can imagine fell deeply in love with this place. Especially with this area, so close Gunung Agung, with absolute privacy, authentic Balinese life, and in the middle of wild nature.


The idea of a bamboo house came at the end of 2014. It was kind of like a dream seeing this place transform from busy and unreachable to a great place to live


Before even starting we had one clear idea in mind, to be echo friendly. To cherish nature here and preserve the local biosystem.


The building process followed strict rules to ensure as little harm as possible and develop a sustainable bamboo building for a lifetime.


Bamboo


Over 95% of the house is built with Bamboo Tali, which takes only 3 years to grow to cutting size!


Bamboo can absorb enormous amounts of carbon dioxide and at the same time produce oxygen. This makes bamboo the best sustainable building material. Bamboo for Hideout was harvest in a village Iseh, less than 5km away!


The roof is Alang-Alang, the thatched roof from a grass harvested in Klungkung. It's known for good temperature stability and you will be pleased by the acoustic of that space.


The House


Hideout has two stories and a big garden, even though your private garden is limited to space near the house, you can explore the rest of the land as much as you'd like!


Kitchen


The kitchen is equipped with basic necessities, you may even get by making yourself breakfast. There's a gas cooker that can be refilled as soon as you ask.

The water filtration is a Terracota, use tap water through the body of the active carbon and silver filter. Free drinkable safe water.


Bathroom

The bathroom is basic but you are wowed by the beautiful outdoor shower with hot water!

Other things to find and help provided

  • Safe box in the wardrobe

  • First aid kit

  • Phone

  • Stereo

  • Sheets and towels

  • Fire extinguisher

  • Bike helmets

  • Transport arrangements

  • Laundry

  • Games

  • Magazines

  • Instruments


Nature

In the gardens around Hideout, you will find over 10 species of banana trees!

Also, have fun finding the....

  • Avocado tree

  • mango tree

  • papaya tree

  • pineapple

  • ginger

  • guava tree

  • aloe vera

  • Lemongrass

  • Chilli tree

  • tapioca


Campuhan

Where the two rivers meet, Balinese consider this place as a source of holy water.

It is a great mystical place with great healing power.


You will have the chance to witness Balinese families approach the river and pray here. please respect their privacy.


Balinese people are very curious, so if they see you are interested they might ask you a few questions about yourself


Raining Season

From December to March (it can vary) there is a raining season in Bali. you find yourself very high in the mountains, (approx 800m above sea level) and therefore it can get a little wetter here than down below.


The river will rise during heavy rains and there's nothing to be concerned about. Enjoy the sounds.


The river is very clean, especially during the dry season. It's nearly drinkable!

If it is very hot, some of the local villages lose their natural water intake, therefore you might see some people enjoying a dip in the water. The river is not so deep, usually, it reaches your knees and thighs, if you feel adventurous enough you can follow the river up or downstream to see the nature around. we especially recommend a swim from the waterwheel downstream. you will see an awesome cave with bats. you will find yourself in a place with a fallen tree!


The Water Wheel

You will see the simple Water and Electricity Distribution system in the diagram.


  1. The water wheel is pumping the water using only kinetic energy.

  2. before entering the water tank, water goes through natural filtration.

  3. There are two outlets, one for overflow and one for the inlets to the house.

  4. Water is distributed in the house.

  5. Wastewater goes to a three-part septic tank, which follows the principles of a wet septic tank with worms. (worms at the first part)

  6. Our septic solution is very efficient and the water that leaves is very clean.

  7. Overflow goes back to the river.

  8. There is a DC alternator right next to the water wheel. There are DC cables which lead to the batteries next to the house. It can give 550-900 watts.



Bamboo inspiration


https://my.archdaily.com/us/@gabbiigoose/folders/bamboo



Elora Hardy



It can get hot in the tropics so they design big curving roofs to catch the breezes.


Some rooms have tall windows to keep the AC in and bugs out!

Some rooms are open, with tented beds.

Some clients want a hidden tv room within woven pods.


Bamboo homes have all the necessary luxuries like bathrooms and kitchens.

But, some washrooms are unique like a basket room.

Bamboo will treat you well if you use it right.


Bamboo is a wild grass that grows in deep ravines and lives off rainwater, spring water.


There are 1450 species of bamboo grow across the world and we use only 7 of them.

You receive sustainable timber in only 3 years





They receive shoots with 18m in usable length.


It has the strength of steel.

the compress strength of concrete

its hallow and lightweight









We built a green school of all bamboo. It's a promise to the local kids as a sustainable material they won't run out of.


It makes perfect sense. It's growing all around us, it's beautiful, it's strong, it's earthquake resistant.

Why hasn't this happened sooner?


Ibuku

"My Mother Earth"







Team of architects, makers, artisans, and designers creating a new way of building.

They've built over 50 incredible Bamboo structures in Bali surrounded with veggie gardens.













Bamboo has been in use in the tropics for tens of thousands of years. Islands and continents fist reached by bamboo raft.


Until recently it's been impossible to protect bamboo from insects. Untreated bamboo weathers and gets eaten to dust.


What do pandas eat?


Most people in Asia think you cant be poor enough to actually want to live in a bamboo house. So they're here to start to change their minds. Convince people that bamboo is worth building with. More less worth aspiring to. Borax is a natural salt that turns bamboo into a viable building material.


Build something extraordinary with bamboo!

Remember you are designing for curving, tapering hollow poles, no two-poles are alike, no 2x4's here. With bamboo, you invent your own rules...



Scaled mini 3D structural models are brought to the site for reference and measurements.


Everything is considered with details...











Why are doors rectangular and not round? How can you make it better? Hinges battle with gravity and we know who will wins... so why not pivot a round door in the centre?

Where it will be balanced... even shaped as teardrops is proven more efficient!








Be ready for the challenge, you don't want to find yourself dreaming of sheetrock and plywood halfway through your project.

This means that bamboo building isn't for everyone, it's a natural solution that you must fall in love with.


They've learnt ways to built with small slits by weaving it all together, then canvassing it, or lacquering it.


Designing a perfect natural unique countertop is as easy as slicing a boulder like a loaf of bread.


What you build with bamboo is entirely hand made. you can reinforce it with steel joints and bamboo pins. Thousand of these pins are in each floor.


A floor can be made of bamboo skin, feeling the texture on your bare feet.





"Can the floor you walk on affect the way that you walk? Will it change the footprint you leave on the world?" - Elora Hardy



John Hardy




Left Canada in 1975, he always wanted to be an architect but is learning differently. He's a bamboo architect and builder. Using the most sustainable product on the planet.


Architects must be:

  • unique

  • creative

  • careful

  • eco-friendly

  • beauty friendly


He's built factories, houses, schools, cathedrals, bridges and so many things in Bali.

"Mother of Bamboo" was the inspiration for him.

Listening to her about its growth and strength.

Another bonus about bamboo is that it is a natural wood which doesn’t need to be milled.


Treating bamboo is what made the world of a difference. A product that's only good for a small amount of time - to a product that is good forever.


Building with mini 3D models is so much more real than 3D renderings on computers...

There are many stages to the model and it's always used on-site for building reference.


Architects elsewhere are very tunnel driven with rules and regulations. Trying to show them how we can reach beyond this, by working with artisans and creators.


The great ancient cathedrals in Europe weren't built by Architects, but by Artisans and builders.


"Modern age ego problems"



Bamboo grows everywhere nothing else wants to grow. there's bamboo everywhere over the earth.


Here's an idea, like this idea of building an eco-friendly bamboo home?

Plant it today, within 6 years you'll have a harvested pile of poles!


Architects are supposed to be artists yet they find themselves forced with excuses by code or engineering.


If you aren't in the tropics, get out!

You can't build something like this in America, but we do believe we can be more efficient and use it for specific pieces of your home.


Stay pure, fresh, and healthy....

Study Arts!



Simple Bamboo Accents for you









Summary

I've been down a deep rabbit hole with studying Bamboo. After seeing all of the architecture around Bali and it's archipelago I was left in awe of their dreamy presence.


I can't wait for the opportunity to return to Bali and Study Bamboo Architecture at Green school!


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