Bamboo Eco House, Nakhon Nayok

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Re: Bamboo Eco House, Nakhon Nayok

Postby ivankrakow » Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:29 am

Hi,

Very interesting project with bamboo! I am planning to build a small house in Thailand in the next couple of years, as I will be 62 next year. If all goes according to plan, retire and live in U.S. through the winter ( 4 months) , and summer in Thailand. My thoughts are more toward open concept, with Bamboo as the main building material. I would like to visit sometime this year, if at all possible. I live and work in Singapore, so it is quite easy to hop over for a weekend.

Thanks,

Ivan
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Re: Bamboo Eco House, Nakhon Nayok

Postby Nawty » Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:45 am

I saw this bamboo house the other day.....very well done and looks a lot better and more impresssive in real life.
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Re: Bamboo Eco House, Nakhon Nayok

Postby Smithson » Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:54 am

Ivan,

Your welcome to visit anytime, we're only an 1.5 hrs from Bangkok, so PM if you're interested.

Nawty,

Your definitely right about a finish making the place look much better. It's a bit of a dilemma, the house has no petro-chems, so I don't really want to apply regular varnish or polyurethane. Something natural would be great, but relative to the price of the house itself would be quite expensive.

There was supposed to be a Bamboo Festivial in Bali this year, but it's not happening. This would have been a great opportunity to learn. When it comes to the finer points of bamboo building, the info just isn't around.
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Re: Bamboo Eco House, Nakhon Nayok

Postby Max&Bee-in-CM » Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:26 am

Hello, I like the pond you have shown in picture sala.jpg, can you give
a rundown of its construction materials - especially how the bottom and
walls are made. Thanks.
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Re: Bamboo Eco House, Nakhon Nayok

Postby Smithson » Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:02 pm

The pond is lined with PVC, I think it's 1.5mm. Underneath that is about 40mm of packing sand.
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Re: Bamboo Eco House, Nakhon Nayok

Postby grant » Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:25 pm

Smithson wrote:Ivan,

Your welcome to visit anytime, we're only an 1.5 hrs from Bangkok, so PM if you're interested.

Nawty,

Your definitely right about a finish making the place look much better. It's a bit of a dilemma, the house has no petro-chems, so I don't really want to apply regular varnish or polyurethane. Something natural would be great, but relative to the price of the house itself would be quite expensive.

There was supposed to be a Bamboo Festivial in Bali this year, but it's not happening. This would have been a great opportunity to learn. When it comes to the finer points of bamboo building, the info just isn't around.


Water based polyurethanes and varnishes are now available in Thailand in both matt and glossy finishes. I've used them on my bamboo and so far after 4 months appear to be holding up about as well as the petroleum based finishes. But much easier to apply.
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Re: Bamboo Eco House, Nakhon Nayok

Postby otis-a » Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:33 am

spiffy post (pun pun) likely the thai = of a log cabin. I like try the concept on small scale. A rich topic for study. seems are still fair amount of synthetics used. Your objective seems achieved to minimize synthetics & get max value from a mostly natural build. What is basic cost/sq.meter? Are such bamboo species available in North province or are the large species limited to tropical low altitude zones? Are there wood species of sufficient strength to replace steel bolts? I once visited a 12th century stone castle that is mostly standing. One interesting room was arched stones without cement. Kudos for natural materials & methods.
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Re: Bamboo Eco House, Nakhon Nayok

Postby Smithson » Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:05 pm

Grant, how many coats of varnish did you apply? Any info on brands would be helpful.

Otis, the species I have used are grown in the north. There is another, 'Pai Hoc' I think it's called, this is also suitable for building. The most important thing is age (at least three years) and time of harvest. I wouldn't trust the person cutting the bamboo to tell you the correct age.

It's not really possible to put a sq meter cost on building, there was a lot of time/money spent on researching before we started and it's difficult to factor this in. It's cheaper than conventional building with concrete and rendering. The roof will have to be replaced within 5 yrs, at today's prices that's around 16K with labor.

The hardest part was harvesting and treating. Unfortunately there aren't really organized plantations for large diameter bamboo. However I do know of one company that's started plantations. We are also growing a lot of bamboo, it's surprising how little area is needed, it can be grown in semi shade among trees.

Regarding using timber dowels instead of bolts, I think bamboo would work better, as it's stronger. Making dowels is easy, or you could use small diameter poles - many of which are almost solid at the base.

Mud and bamboo can work really well together, the pics below are from a school in Bangladesh:

Image

Image
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Re: Bamboo Eco House, Nakhon Nayok

Postby grant » Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:38 am

Smithson wrote:Grant, how many coats of varnish did you apply? Any info on brands would be helpful.


I applied 3 coats of Berger water based clear stain. There are several brands including TOA that now make water based stains. Because my bamboo poles are exposed to sun and rain, the coating only lasts about 1 year. I'm also experimenting with carnauba car wax applied over a base coat of water based stain. This may or may not last as long but it is easier to reapply as the poles do not need to be sanded each time a new coat is applied. For poles that are indoors and not exposed to sun or rain, I use wax only, 2-3 coats.
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Re: Bamboo Eco House, Nakhon Nayok

Postby ivankrakow » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:52 am

Hi,

How is the house going? Have not seen any post, so I hope it is more an issue of no time to write? so many Bamboo to varnish :)
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Re: Bamboo Eco House, Nakhon Nayok

Postby canopy » Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:05 am

Smithson wrote:Mud and bamboo can work really well together, the pics below are from a school in Bangladesh:


Technically, "mud" and topsoil are materials not to be used in alternative building. They shrink too much when dry which cracks and crumbles and typically contain undesirable organic material. In alternative building like the Bangladesh school, you talk in terms of clay (think pottery or sun dried bricks) used in combination with tight locking sand and other materials providing tensile strength like straw or husks.

I saw a tv piece on that school. Nice project. One problem they did have in retrospect was insect infestation into the bamboo which they ended up treating. The thing I find disappointing about the build is while the bamboo and natural walls provide a very warm and green building touch, they are sandwiched between a huge concrete slab and corrugated iron roof!
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Re: Bamboo Eco House, Nakhon Nayok

Postby Smithson » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:45 pm

canopy wrote:I saw a tv piece on that school. Nice project. One problem they did have in retrospect was insect infestation into the bamboo which they ended up treating. The thing I find disappointing about the build is while the bamboo and natural walls provide a very warm and green building touch, they are sandwiched between a huge concrete slab and corrugated iron roof!


Considering it's a school, maybe fire hazards led them to use a tin roof (tiles would probably be too heavy). I've heard dirt floors are very difficult, which maybe why they chose concrete.

That's a shame about the bug infestation, it may reinforce the perception that bamboo is not a viable building material. I suppose the project was large enough by itself, preserving the bamboo could have doubled the work.

We are getting set up for this seasons bamboo treatment, hopefully on a larger scale than last time. Once it is complete, I'll be able to post finished pics of the house. We have had no problems with bugs or mold and the house has been very comfortable.

The open design is great for light and cooling, but no so good when it rains. I am trying to come up with a compromise design, possibly using screens that can be lowered in bad weather.
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Re: Bamboo Eco House, Nakhon Nayok

Postby MGV12 » Thu Dec 23, 2010 2:05 pm

I just came across this technical report on bamboo and methods for preserving it ... the most comprehensive I have seen.

Would be interested on your feedback if anyone has tried any of those methods mentioned:

http://www.inbar.int/publication/txt/IN ... t_No03.htm

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Re: Bamboo Eco House, Nakhon Nayok

Postby Smithson » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:01 pm

The house is basically finished now, I'm still tossing up whether to put a small skillion roof out the front. If it's raining with a decent wind, then there'll be some spray, however this is pretty rare. We have screens that roll down which help quite a bit and the spray doesn't enter the bedrooms. I'd really hate to loose any natural light and the open feel of the house.
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Re: Bamboo Eco House, Nakhon Nayok

Postby MGV12 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:44 am

Looks really impressive ... more pictures please

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