• Wed. Dec 6th, 2023

Bamboo as a Construction Material

UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Bamboo is flexible, yet very strong, making it a versatile construction material that can be used for permanent or temporary constructions. In Uganda, you will often see bamboo scaffolding in construction. However, it’s many other construction applications are often overlooked. 

Bamboo has many wonderful qualities. Thanks to it’s strength and flexibility, bamboo construction offers superior earthquake-resistance to wood. If it is cut, treated, and stored correctly, bamboo also has a long life span. Further, bamboo’s antibacterial qualities makes it resistant to bacterial growth. All of these factors make make it an appealing choice of building material. 

“Bamboo is a construction material with good potential for both decorative and structural use in building,” says architect Chris Musiime. “I would recommend it to someone who is looking for a traditional cottage touch, because bamboo pulls off that traditional domestic yet unique touch,” he says.

Chris notes that bamboo can be used for roofing, walls and as a flooring option, among other uses.

Bamboo country house decor.
Bamboo country house decor. Image Source: Pinterest images

Bamboo makes for a durable and hard wearing floating floor material. Strand woven bamboo is over twice as hard as Oak flooring, making it well suited for busy areas or commercial properties. Although bamboo flooring is water resistant, it is not waterproof, therefore you should avoid using bamboo flooring outside, in a bathroom or any other area with excessive water.

“Albeit not very common in Uganda, bamboo is also a good flooring option that can be used instead of hardwood floor,” says Chris Musiime. Chris adds that bamboo not only looks good to the eye, but its versatility also gives it an added advantage since it does not contract or expand because of changes in weather that affect wood floors.

Bamboo flooring material
Ambient Bamboo – Bamboo Flooring Sample – Image Source: Ubuy
bamboo flooring material
Installed beautiful bamboo floor – Image Source: Ubuy

Bamboo’s woody stem has a variety of uses in construction and other aesthetic functions. It is compatible with other decors, timeless and flexible with a stylish touch, which can create both modern and traditional designs.

Beautiful bamboo house design
Beautiful bamboo house design, by Bamboo Living

It is a beautiful evergreen that thrives not only while growing but even in its seemingly endless uses. It grows in different sizes, lengths and colours, thus having a wide range of varieties.

Bamboo House.
Bamboo House. Image Source: Booking.com

Bamboo has also been credited for its eco-friendliness since its needs no fertilizers or pesticides while growing. Chris says, “I would recommend bamboo to anyone passionate about green building materials.” 

Gradually, people realise environmental changes and the impact of deforestation. Bamboo is a perfect substitute for wood, and there are various uses it can be put to, from foundation to finishing in construction.
Bamboo ceiling finish.
Bamboo ceiling finish. Image Source: Natural Trading Company
Bamboo for ceiling finishes.
Bamboo for wall and ceiling finishes. Image Source: Pinterest Images

Bamboo can also be used for ceiling finishes. Sharon Chemutai, an interior designer, confidently says, “Whether being used partially as part of the main ceiling design or going all out to have the entire ceiling completely made of bamboo, it will stand out.”

She also credits it with its natural touch that breathes freshness into any space. “Some countries have taken it a notch higher to show what it can do by using it in public places such as airports.” For example, the Madrid-Barajas International Airport has a beautiful, outstanding bamboo ceiling that screams both nature and class.”

Bamboo poles can also be used in an open space setting. Chemutai adds, “Adding African inspired art to this will totally bring the African spirit home.”

Chemutai further notes that it is another material that can make exquisite African inspired wall finishes for both indoor and outdoor walls, citing the quickest example of the perimeter wall at Kasubi tombs. “I am uncertain whether they used reeds or bamboo, but the concept is the same,” she notes.

a beautiful house
The entrance of the Kasubi Tombs. Image Source:

Bamboo has been highlighted as the fastest growing plant worldwide, making it sustainable and available for ready use.

It also absorbs carbon dioxide and gives off more oxygen than the average plant, making it suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Since it needs no fertilizers or pesticides, it also requires little maintenance and can thrive in a wide range of weather conditions.

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Eco-Friendly Construction: Hope to Refugees and Youths in Uganda