Architects envision sustainable bamboo mass housing for Malaysia

Overshadowed by steel, brick and concrete, bamboo is no longer a
major material for everyday Malaysian construction. Yet
Cyberjaya-based architectural firm Eleena Jamil Architect believes
that the sustainable material should and can join the ranks of
modern construction materials. To prove that bamboo is not only a
sustainable building material but also a viable one for long-term
construction projects, the architects have designed Bamboo Terrace
Homes, an eco-friendly proposal for mass contemporary housing built
predominately from locally harvested bamboo.

rendering of people walking near bamboo structures

Modeled after the typical 22-foot-wide terrace houses found
across Malaysia, Eleena Jamil Architect proposed Bamboo Terrace
Homes can be used in both urban and suburban areas. Although
bamboo has
historically been used in Malaysian architecture, the material fell
by the wayside due to its low natural resistance to pests and rot
when alternative materials, such as steel and brick, rose to
prominence. However, the architects said that properly treated and
preserved bamboo is strong and resilient enough to be used as a
long-term building material.


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rendering of view from balcony of bamboo home

rendering of people on balcony looking at other bamboo houses

In their proposal, treated bamboo forms the main structures save
for the bathroom enclosures, which will be made of prefabricated
lightweight concrete volumes to keep moisture away from the
structural bamboo components. The structural bamboo frames would be
prefabricated,
mass-produced and flat-packed to reduce costs and environmental
impact. Bamboo columns would be used to hold up the engineered
bamboo floors and roofs, while the internal and external walls
would be built from a lightweight bamboo composite board
system.

rendering of gardens between buildings

rendering of shared gardens in front of bamboo building

According to Eleena Jamil Architect, the Bamboo Terrace Homes
would have lower construction costs and a small carbon footprint
as compared to standard terrace homes without compromising quality
of living. Each contemporary house would include an internal
courtyard, balconies and an open-plan floor layout to enhance
flexibility. Ample natural light and ventilation would be welcomed
indoors through large glazed openings, while large overhangs and
balconies reduce heat gain. The proposal is only in the conceptual
phase; however, the firm hopes that the design will inspire
developers and the local government to adopt bamboo as a
sustainable building material.

+ Eleena Jamil
Architect

Image via Eleena Jamil Architect

Source: FS – All – Ecology – News 2
Architects envision sustainable bamboo mass housing for Malaysia