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Bamboo construction in Ecuador and Region  RSS feed

 
Andrew Parker
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I saw this article, "Casas con caña guadúa se proponen en Manabí", which proposes building homes made of bamboo to replace those destroyed in the massive earthquake in Manabi, Ecuador earlier this year.  Guadua is a variety of bamboo found in Ecuador, Colombia and Peru that is used traditionally for construction.  A quick google search for "caña guadúa" and the architect named in the article, Jorge Moran, yielded some interesting documents, among them: "PROPUESTAS CONSTRUCTIVAS SOSTENIBLES. LA CAÑA GUADUA Y LOS BTC DE TERRO-CEMENTO COMO MATERIALES DE CONSTRUCCIÓN. TRADICIÓN E INVESTIGACIÓN EN NUEVOS PRODUCTOS", "La caña guadua es la fuente de inspiracion de los ecomateriales" and "Construir con bambú “caña de guayaquil”".  The last one is long and very detailed.  Colombia also has a long tradition of using guadua.  Here are some documents: Manual de construccion sismo resistente de viviendas en baharaque encementado, "LA CULTURA DE LA GUADUA EN COLOMBIA", Cultura Arquitectónica del Bahareque en Colombia.
 
David Hernick
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80% bamboo is impressive, it looks like concrete is primarily used for flooring and stucco.  My family in Ecuador is from Manabí region and I got the chance to see some rustic bamboo structure that survived the earthquake.  One issue with bamboo construction in Ecuador is termites an other insects as well as fungal rot.  The Bamboo needs to be coated at least once a year.  Wood and bamboo construction also often needs to be sprayed for insects, sometimes with diesel.  If prefabricated panels were made they could potentially have a more durable coating that would require less maintenance.  A gap exists between rustic bamboo construction and "modern" construction, this is where innovations like prefabricated panels could bridge the gap,  bamboo flooring is so popular because it is easy to use, cheap, comfortable and accessible.  Right now Bamboo for construction is cheap and accessible but it is not very comfortable feeling or refined looking so it is only used when you cannot afford concrete.
 
Andrew Parker
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I was only in Manabi once, about 30 years ago.  My then future brother-in-law's future (now ex, a lot happens in 30 years) in-laws had a large hacienda a few miles outside Balzar (there was no bridge across the Daule back then, only a balsawood ferry.)  They were hosting a prenuptial get-together at their country house.  It was of typical rural construction, cement block ground floor, for work and storage, and a wood and bamboo upper story with a veranda, for living space.  It was quite comfortable with a light breeze blowing through the bamboo slats.  I have a picture of it somewhere, buried among 30 years of stuff.

Did you see the article on the house near the epicenter that was split in two and separated by, iirc, 50 meters?  That would have been an apocalyptic experience.  Most of their cattle were swallowed up, but miraculously, no human lives lost in that household.

Much of the injury and death was due to the collapse of concrete and masonry.  They infill those concrete post and beam walls with bricks or tiles that are not tied into anything.  When the earth shakes, the masonry falls out and there is nothing to hold the posts in place, so the whole thing comes down.  I hope the code is improved and enforced for any new construction.  They could retrofit older construction without too much investment (though when you don't have money, any investment is too much).

We have a little cuadra in our kitchen (the folksy textured paintings that you can purchase at the Mercado Artesanal in Guayaquil)  that shows a bahareque hueca wall with the bamboo partially revealed.  I will post a foto of it;... probably... sometime.
 
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Video of all the PDC and ATC (~177 hours) - HD instant view
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