Building with Bamboo 2007: Is it possible?

Everyone in the Kaua‘i bamboo community, especially those interested in building with bamboo, is invited to an informational meeting Saturday, May 12, noon to 2 p.m., to be held in Kapa‘a, at Bamboo Works in the Kaua‘i Design Center, 4585 Lehua Street (across from Specialty Lumber, one block mauka of the ABC store.)

The meeting is free and open to the public.

The purpose of the meeting, which is sponsored by Bamboo Works, Malama Kaua‘i and Steelgrass Bamboo Farm, is to provide the community with the latest information on bamboo construction, particularly what types of bamboo are available, the many ways they can be used structurally, and the requirements under which a structure utilizing bamboo may qualify for a building permit from the County of Kaua‘i.

Discussion of these and other bamboo-related questions will be led by David Sands, a Maui-based architect with the firm Bamboo Technologies, and Douglas Haigh, head of the County of Kaua‘i Building Department. Local Kaua‘i bamboo growers and nursery owners, builders and designers, and bamboo suppliers will also be on hand to share their experience and participate in the discussion.

Kaua‘i’s climate is ideal for growing hundreds of bamboo species, suitable for everything from construction timber to crafts, furniture and musical instruments. Bamboo is universally admired for its pleasing shapes, colors and overall aesthetic, and as a renewable resource that grows quickly and has low-impact requirements for land area, water and nutrients, bamboo appears to be close to a perfect crop when it comes to creating a sustainable agricultural future for our island.

Yet aside from bamboo furniture, and recently bamboo flooring, it is rare to see bamboo used as a principal component in building, especially structurally. One of the goals of this meeting is to provide Kaua‘i residents with the opportunity to change this state of affairs and take advantage of this readily-available resource.

For more information, call Tony Lydgate, 821-1857, e-mail; or call Julian Ruppert, 821-8688, e-mail


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