Working with Bamboo in Uganda
To design develop and build climate friendly buildings is our mission. In our design process bkvv architects focuses on using smart natural principles (physics) to create buildings that are efficient in their energy consumption and enable a comfortable way of living. The natural environment has a central role in every project. The materials, we work with, have, as much as possible, a natural origin, like wood, clay, stones and bamboo. Over the last years the search for natural honest materials has lead us into the field of research and even farming. If we as architects, want to design buildings that are climate friendly, the materials, that we use, must have a positive impact on their environment of their own.
One of the materials that can tick of that box very well is bamboo. The strength, growth rate and similarities with wood timber makes it an interesting resource for the built environment. As we are convinced of the qualities of bamboo, we aim to make bamboo a prominent material in our designs.
The current market in Uganda (the country where we currently use bamboo the most) does not provide in quality building materials made of bamboo. To be able to use bamboo in the built environment as a strong reliable construction material we collaborated with engineers, farmers, and researchers to set up a bamboo factory and farm to create the value chain from bamboo seedling to bamboo building elements.
You could compare our approach with a top-chef of a fine restaurant that grows his/her own fresh biological herbs and vegetables. By growing our own bamboo and process them following international high standards into reliable building materials we ensure our clients of a building that is built with high quality locally grown natural materials that have a positive impact on its environment.
Over the past few years bkvv architects has been executing several (award winning) projects in Uganda. In these projects collaborations were built with (local) engineers, contractors, clients, the government, NFA and people from many other disciplines. We have shared our holistic view on building climate friendly with locally grown natural materials and created an expanding community with a similar green goal.
Illustrated by our projects we will talk about our experiences with working with bamboo in Uganda.
Sanne Eekel and Robert van Kats, bkvv architects