Rejuvenating the Art of Bamboo Construction in Puerto Rico

Jun 20, 2024 | Bamboo Education

In the world of sustainable building, bamboo is experiencing a renaissance. This fast-growing, renewable resource offers a compelling alternative to traditional materials, and I’m passionate about sharing the knowledge to build with bamboo. This year, I had the privilege of leading a three-part Bamboo Construction Master Class at Sumer Farms in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico boasts an abundance of bamboo, particularly the Bambusa Vulgaris variety. While not the absolute best for construction due to its sugar content, it provides a perfect platform to learn essential processing techniques like treating with boron and borax. We even explored traditional methods of sustainable harvesting and managing wild bamboo clumps, ensuring the long-term health of this valuable resource.

My approach emphasizes learning by doing. Throughout the course, we delved into the history and cultural significance of bamboo construction, while also getting hands-on experience processing bamboo poles and creating functional objects. Evenings were filled with lively discussions and the camaraderie of working together to create something beautiful and sustainable. This Puerto Rico workshop is a prime example of how knowledge sharing can empower communities to embrace bamboo as a viable and eco-friendly building material.