Malayinkeezhu: What about a sturdy 3-storey building made of bamboo? Sounds improbable? Not at all as the building that houses the Library and Documentation wing of the Laurie Baker Center for Habitat Studies (LBC) was built with the giant woody grass.
The foundation of the 2,200 sq ft building, which was constructed at a cost of Rs 32 lakh, was laid using granite stones. Processed bamboo enveloped the 15cm thick concrete skeletal structure that was put up on the foundation to erect the 3-storey building.
Close to 90 percent of the building is made of bamboo and bricks were used to construct stairways. The structure has 5 rooms, each with washrooms, and 3 vast verandas. An amount of Rs 30 lakh was allotted by T N Seema when she was the Rajya Sabha member and Rs 2 lakh was sourced from the own funds of LBC to construct the unique building at Vilappilsala near here in Thiruvananthapuram district.
Processed bamboo for better strength and life
The bamboo poles are put through a chemical processing to increase their strength and longevity. The walls of the building were constructed by mixing sand, quick lime and coconut husk and plastering this mix on to a framework made of bamboo slivers. The roof was also made following similar technique. Tiles made of sand were laid on the floor and the doors and windows had the touch of wood and bamboo on them.
The bamboo on outside walls and outer doors were given a protective coast using the sap of cashew nuts. As many as 660 bamboo poles were bought from the Palode range of the Forest Department for construction purposes. The construction of the building, which has a myriad of colours, was started in 2016 and the structure was inaugurated by Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac the other day.
P B Sajan, joint director of Costford, the builders that constructed the building, said that the bamboo building can withstand earthquakes and it had a lifespan of more than 50 years. Costford (The Center of Science and Technology for Rural Development) specializes in low-cost construction techniques and their contributions are noteworthy.