Elora Hardy runs Ibuku, a Bali-based design/build company that works primarily in bamboo and uses local skilled labor. "We believe in bamboo," the company writes. "Its strength, beauty, flexibility, 4-year growth cycle, and carbon sequestration capacity make it the most environmentally conscientious building material conceivable." On top of that, "If children plant bamboo today, in eight years they will have timber ready to go and they will get timber every year for the rest of their life to build anything they need."
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Ibuku is not using bamboo to build Gilligan's-Island-esque huts, by the way; as you can see above, they've managed to erect stunningly beautiful six-story luxury homes with the stuff. All of this despite the material's inherent challenges: As it hasn't been machined into consistent rectilinear forms, adhering to blueprints is impossible. Thus the Ibuku team finalizes the design in a scale model (made from bamboo shoots, of course), then transfers those dimensions to the actual structure on-site.
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In this excellent TED talk, Hardy runs down Ibuku's process, says more about the challenges, and explains the material's benefits: