Renewable Houses SA

Affordable Housing, Skills and Resources for South Africa

Bamboo Regional Hub


We are currently developing a business model around the idea of a Bamboo Regional Hub. The Hub will consist of 3 components working in synergy:

1 - Bamboo Nursery
2 - Bamboo Treatment Facility
3 - Craft Workshop

The basic idea is to nurture an inclusive economy around the ecology of bamboo in its natural life cycle. Due to the cyclical nature of the bamboo growing and harvesting, cultivating and processing bamboo utilizes different operational cycles throughout the year.


Production

1. The Bamboo Nursery will facilitate the reproduction of desirable bamboo species throughout the year or whenever possible. Several propagation methods will be explored. We would like to establish a stable bamboo seedling supply chain for farmers and growers.

2. Chemical treatment and curing is necessary to turn raw bamboo into a usable construction material. Untreated the bamboo will only last 2-3 years compared to 30-40 years treated and used undercover. The Bamboo Treatment facility will enable experimentation of various treatment techniques, including iterations of preservation by sap displacement (Boucherie method) as well as hot and cold soaking techniques. The most effective techniques will be documented and the process will be published by RHSA as open-source material. The treatment facility will also be equipped for the curing and drying of bamboo poles and strips.

3. The Craft Workshop is a space that enables the processing of bamboo into various products. Among these include daily utensils; furniture and housing components such as posts, beams, wall partitions, screens, roof trusses, doors, etc As we grow as a business, we aim to invest in processing technology to enable us to develop and produce standardized products. Skills development training programs for bamboo and earth construction will also take place at the Craft Workshop.


Challenges

1. Access to Funding / Investment Capital
2. Mapping existing bamboo
3. Identifying existing species
4. No clear policy from the government regarding invasive species or bamboo classification(s).

If you think you or your organization can assist with any of the above, please Contact Us