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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Ethiopia’s famous Onion-shaped bamboo houses of the Sidama people in southern Ethiopia are just one example of effective but traditional construction with bamboo, one that has been used for centuries, and one that is becoming increasingly popular as lodges for tourists. In many countries, bamboo has been used for housing for millenia, albeit not always as attractive and cosy as the Sidama houses.
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In recent years, bamboo housing has developed in leaps and bounds – the use of prefabricated bamboo boards has been tested for houses in India and China amongst others, and modern laminated blocks of bamboo wood that can be shaped as can timber are also increasingly used. But it’s the round-pole bamboo houses that impress, with their natural round shape and slight variation, and natural “organic”, warm colours that offer a relaxing homely place to stay.
But there are problems. To build a house, a constructor needs to adhere to the country’s building codes – which define the parameters for the procedures and qualities of the materials used, and how they are used, to ensure the house is of sufficient quality, and is safe. Without these, in many countries insurance cannot be obtained, and in some, such structures may be illegal.
Read more at: www.inbar.int