The overall intention is to develop a renewable and affordable housing model for South Africa starting from DBN KZN where bamboo grows wild.
Durban, South Africa has a unique history and climate which allows bamboo to thrive. The sugar industry during the late 1800' have brought different ethnicities of people migrating from India to live and work in SA, they are believed to have brought some bamboo species for cultural and religious purposes.
Bambusa Balcooa (green giant bamboo - usable for construction) has naturalised over 200 years in South Africa, scattered and undocumented across the landscape. If we could identify, quantify and measure how much of this resource is out there, discoveries could be made of an alternative renewable construction material which has been always available but overlooked.
This Crowd Funding is for the search and identification of the existing bamboo resource together with applicable locations for Bamboo Regional Hubs (processing infrastructure for bamboo) described on our website https://renewablehouses.co.za/ .
There are over 10 000 documented uses of bamboo ranging from daily utensils, farming props, fences, water tanks to creation of shelter providing job opportunities for everybody involved in this trade. South Africa is currently facing shortages of houses and jobs that if we could develop this model we could create employment and provide affordable shelter for the people in need.
Below is a link to a precedent of bamboo housing scheme "The Costa Rica National Bamboo Project" for reference.
I came to South Africa in 2004 (from Japan originally but have lived in various African countries due to my parents work with JICA; Liberia, Ethiopia and Malawi), studied Architecture at University of Kwa-Zulu Natal finishing my Masters in 2017.
My Master's thesis was based on bamboo construction and I have furthered my research till now together with my fellow colleague (Architect) who also has an interest in bamboo and a practitioner of modern earth building technique using CSEB (Compressed Stabilised Earth Block). We want to create a localised industry based around bamboo and earth as an alternative methodology to build houses in South Africa.
We intend to standardise bamboo construction methods in South Africa. Standardisation is a fundamental aspect to register a product as it is a form of guarantee to the people. For a bamboo building we would require correctly aged culms harvested at the right season, treated with accurate procedures and stored undercover until maturity. Finally, cured culms are to be used with approved construction methodology. This is a long and lengthy process as we are required to create physical examples and documentation based on practical analysis of data and quantifying available information in order to create a standard for the trade.
Methods of mapping:
Intention is to use a motorbike (Yamaha SR250) for close and difficult to reach areas (e.g. cane fields, rivers). AA rate for the bike is R2.54/km (2020.06.12).
For far out areas, longer field trips with a research team, we intend to use a 4 wheeler with an A.A rate of R3.45/km (2020.06.12).
A Garmin ETrex20 will be used to map the bamboo, and the mapping sets will be uploaded as updates on the project. We will enroll this operation as far as the funds allow us.
We also want to develop a digital bamboo mapping service based on the latest research into AI machine learning. This will allow us to find unaccessible bamboo and track bamboo forestry activity. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/351643v1
We will upload our findings/progress in the updates together with social media platforms.