Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Housing NOW

Providing modular bamboo homes at affordable prices

Property & Construction

Using low-diameter bamboo, a company has developed transportable structures

Spotted: Myanmar is facing a severe housing crisis, as conflict triggered by the military takeover in 2021 has resulted in the internal displacement of around 1.95 million people, according to the UN Refugee Agency. Social enterprise Housing NOW, founded by Myanmar-based design group Blue Temple, is working to build affordable housing using an innovative and sustainable technique.

Housing NOW uses bamboo as a construction material for building prefabricated, modular structures at a cost of around $1,000 (around €923) per unit. Using computational tools, the company generated a structure optimised to respond to forces such as earthquakes and wind loads.

Because larger-diameter bamboo is more expensive, small-diameter bamboo was used instead, and bundled together to produce a structure that’s stronger than conventional, load-bearing, large-diameter bamboo. The hybrid construction technique allowed the creation of prefabricated ‘structural frames’, which were then combined with local construction and assembly of the remaining parts of the house. The result is a large-scale and affordable housing solution.

In 2022, Housing NOW started a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, which raised enough funding to construct six modules as part of a pilot project. The company plans to continue raising funds and expanding the project.

The promise of bamboo as a renewable resource is catching on. Springwise has also spotted a platform for investing in low-impact bamboo and the development of land for sustainable bamboo growth in Jamaica.

Written By: Lisa Magloff




Download PDF