Hanoi, Vietnam-based H&P Architects developed the Blooming Bamboo House, a prototype that will protect many homeowners from the area's frequent natural disasters. ARCHITECT contributor Nate Berg writes that Vietnam's relentless cycle of floods, landslides, and earthquakes destroys thousands of the country's poorly built homes per year.
The resilient Blooming Bamboo House utilizes local materials and can be built by laypeople at a low cost. The prototype was built in just 25 days for $2,500, and accommodates six residents. Here's how it works:
The 62-square-meter (670-square-foot) prototype is the first structure in Vietnam to be built almost entirely out of bamboo, according to H&P principal Doan Thanh Ha. The material’s high tensile strength enables the house to withstand strong winds and earthquakes, while a foundation of salvaged plastic drums will allow it to endure floods of up to 1.5 meters (4.9 feet).
Bamboo poles ranging in diameter from 8 to 10 centimeters are tied or bolted together to create the building frame, followed by smaller lengths that are tied onto the walls or lined on the floors as finishes, and sealed with bitumen to prevent water infiltration. The house can also be finished with other local materials, such as wooden planks, coconut leaves, plastic sheets, and bottles.