Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bamboo Groove Housing

Here is the sign and logo of the Bamboo Groove shop, the subject of yesterday's post. If you click and enlarge the photo, you will note that it announces its business as the rather unusual combination of "HOUSING, SURF, FASHION." The housing business of the shopkeeper's boyfriend, Dutch architect Erwin Schuster, was the subject of a recent article in the local newspaper. In a brilliant combination of recycling and the use of renewable resources, he builds houses out of used ocean shipping containers and bamboo.

The houses are modernist and attractive in design, yet affordable. They use bamboo wood roofs, steel and aluminum from shipping containers for the structural walls, and bamboo wood to cover the metal sides. The metal roofs on the containers are removed, and bamboo is used to build a vaulted ceiling, with windows all around the house at the top of the ceiling and below the eaves. The front and back of the house are glass to give it an open feel. The house featured in the newspaper article was double the width of a sea container.

Think of how environmentally responsible the houses are. Shipping containers are being recycled into houses. The Chinese build a new sea container every five minutes because it is cheaper to build a new one than to ship an empty one back to be reused. Bamboo is strong, straight, can be cut into attractive planks, and grows like a weed, saving other tropical woods.

Below is a "Living Green" notice posted on the door of the shop providing information about the Bamboo Groove Housing concept. You may click and enlarge the photo to read the notice, which also gives the architect's email address,, for further information.
Costa Rica has set a national goal for 2020 to be the world's first carbon-neutral nation. Initiatives such as Bamboo Groove Housing should help.

This is an innovative approach to housing construction. I have posted two previous photos of housing construction in Costa Rica. On June 16 I posted a photo of a typical "Tico" house in which local residents would live. On July 25 I posted a photo to show the housing and construction methods used for condominiums built for foreigners.


Hilda said...

Oh wow, that's a wonderful solution to both the problems of affordable housing and environmental management!

Neva said...

My daughter mentioned this while on her field study trip....she is very impressed with Costa Rica....I can see why.

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