In the current economic climate, its been a bit rough for those that want to go green on a budget. Not everyone can...Read the rest of this article
A bamboo house powered by solar panels? Now that’s green
by Matt Jansen on September 7, 2010
While many companies are focused on changes to existing processes that create efficiencies translating into energy or resource savings – others are rethinking their initial approach. Consider a house, which traditionally requires logs or precut rectangular boards to build out the frame. Now replace that lumber with hardened bamboo, layer the top of it with solar panels, and you get something that looks like a modern way of living sustainably.
Tonji University Shanghai displayed one such model in the 2010 European Solar Decathlon with hopes of demonstrating how people can live within the means of their home’s own carbon footprint. Traditional Chinese architecture is very apparent in the house, and it’s loaded with some hi-tech gear.
Its impressive solar array generates 9 kilowatts of electricity which powers its one bedroom, one living room layout . . . it has temperature and humidity control systems, high-level thermal insulation systems, and a bamboo enclosed garden. Via Inhabitat.
The concept is great, and it’s obvious there’s a lot to learn from examples like it. On a mass scale though, it’s important to think about growing bamboo in a way that’s better for the environment than harvesting traditional lumber. Just translating the ecologic cost to a different plant wouldn’t provide a net win.
Structural testing is important too because while bamboo is strong, it may not last as long as other materials used more regularly now. Of course, a potential buyer would need to appreciate Chinese architecture to like this layout, and a 1 bedroom house wouldn’t work for larger families.
Building a house that can sustain its own energy needs with the right sunlight, and which still manages a masterful design certainly deserves some positive recognition. Products like this will drive the success of the green movement because it allows consumers to embrace the concept without giving up their life patterns.