Building a climate-smart 21st-century with bamboo
Tono Aguilar is the founder and president of CASSA, a sustainable construction company in Guatemala that uses bamboo as its primary building material. His work at CASSA has been awarded by World Economic Forum, Dalberg, Swiss Re Foundation, UN Development Programme, and Interamerican Development Bank. Before founding CASSA, he co-founded Quetsol (now Kingo Energy), a distributed solar energy company for the Base of the Pyramid. He previously worked in quantitative finance in the United States. He graduated cum laude from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with a Master’s in Astrophysics and a Bachelor’s in Astrophysics and Physics in 2006.
CASSA (www.cassa.com.gt/en) is a leading sustainable construction company in Guatemala, with over 100 projects using bamboo as its primary construction material. The company builds homes for customers with a wide range of needs, budgets, and microclimates and believes that bamboo will be the construction material of the 21st century. CASSA worked with two climate-vulnerable communities in Guatemala and Honduras in 2022 to grow bamboo and build homes to help them adapt to climate change. The success of this project, including the resilience of the bamboo homes during a recent hurricane, has demonstrated the potential for a massive bamboo industry in Central America. This would benefit vulnerable communities and supply sustainable and eco-friendly construction materials to the global market. Exciting commercial, social, and environmental opportunities exist for a strong bamboo trade between Europe and Central America. CASSA will co-host the 2023 World Bamboo Workshop in Guatemala in one of these communities, Punta Brava.