Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Modern Bamboo Design - Metrobank Architecture Competition Entry 2012

Modern Architect - Winner of Metrobank Architecture Competition 2012

Metrobank Architecture Competition 2012 Winner - Modern Filipino Bamboo House

Beautiful Bamboo Design and Curvilinear Masses enclosed into a Bamboo Walls - see this Entree to Metrobank Architecture Art and Design Excellence Competition 2012. This is a beautiful entry with Green Building Design Elements like planting and landscape

Read the rest of the Metrobank Architecture 2012 Winner who's Entry was Lost.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Why Chinese Businesses Succeed?

Chinese Bamboo Industry

Conventional wisdom holds that it is the all-powerful state in China that is responsible for  becoming the globe’s 2nd ranking economic power. Not really true as my friend Tom Easton of The Economist has shown in brilliant convincing detail through a series of pieces he wrote this year.

Easton’s tag for this is Bamboo Capitalism, because   90% of the  43 million private companies in China are private, ie no public market. And the share of GDP  the enterprises   not majority owned by the state  is a gigantic 70%. What’s more– and I’ve seen this discovery in no other publication– the average return on equity of these private firms is about 14%– compared to the measly 4% return by wholly or party owned state enterprise.
So, reports Easton,” the ideas that state-directed capitalism and tight political control are the elixir of growth… China has surged forward mainly where the state has stood back.” That should give the People’s Bank of China and  Premier Wen something to  digest.

Success of the Bamboo Industry in China

Yes, Bamboo Capitalism has driven up wages and benefits– therefore inflation. But, at bottom it is a replica of America in an earlier stage, where ordinary factory workers borrowing very little from private sources at very high rates of interest, became financially independent entrepreneurs. To be dynamic in China is to be private, nimble, intensely hard-working–  and stay well out of the clutches of the central government.
Bamboo Capitalism describes the thicket of almost 40 million enterprises of all kinds in every part of China that do not have the central government hanging over their shoulder.   In fact, Easton goes further in  disclosing that many of these companies raise capital not from the giant Chinese banks, but from unofficial sources,  and operate in the shadow away from government scrutiny.  They don’t seem to trust their own government and it may be this successful business culture  explains the drive for the  Chinese  to own more and more gold– as if they didn’t trust  the heirs to Mao or even the stability of the renmimbi.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bamboo Architect from Bacolod City

The Architect in Bacolod.

If you are looking for an architect in Bacolod City or Iloilo, you can contact Archian Designs Architect Studio.

ARCHIAN DESIGNS ARCHITECT STUDIOS is a collaboration of Interior Designers, Urban Planners, Landscape Professionals and Allied Professionals totally dedicated to deliver timely and excellent Services. This is lea by Architect Ian Jay Bantilan.

If you are situated in Panay or Negros, we can serve you. Whether you are from Iloilo, Guimaras, Capiz, San Jose, Antique in Panay Province or from Silay, Cadiz, Bago, Talisay, San Carlos, Sgay, Kabankalan or anywhere in Negros Occidental or Oriental, like Dumaguete, you should work with Archian Designs Architect Studios. 
Our architect has been educated in University of Santo Tomas and has experience with AIA (American Institute of Architect Companies in Dubai) If you need to work on your building or facility, you wouldn't need to call Manila for people you hardly know. This is the Bamboo Architect from Bacolod City

For further information, email us through archiandesigns@yahoo.com or call to (034)433 3476.

ARCHIAN DESIGNS ARCHITECT STUDIOS believes that Architecture is an endless search for perfection of artistic and harmonious arrangement of man and space, with considerations with the built environment, nature, cost and the latest trend value and technology will always be considered, now and beyond.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bamboo Treatment - Boucherie Method

The quality of bamboo craftsmanship, is generally poor due to several reasons: bamboo used for construction is not mature enough, bamboo is not treated, improper handling, lack of connection materials and skills, inadequate tools, lack of finishing materials and lack of exposure to the different bamboo designs. Furthermore, though people are aware of the beauty and the strength of bamboo, they are reluctant to make permanent structures with it because they are scared of its non-durability.
It is because of this that we tried to find a solution to increase the durability of bamboo as a building material
From the web resources we could get the general concept of the Boucherie technique, but we had to basically design and build everything on our own since we did not find a detailed manual on its construction. Everything in this plant was built and improvised by a local technician.
Physiological Characteristics
Bamboo culms are divided into nodes and internodes and are composed of two types of tissue; parenchyma cells and vascular bundles. The latter consist of vessels, thick walled fibers and sieve tubes and it is through these that water movement takes place in the living plant. (Rao 17) In Modified Boucherie Technique, (aka. sap displacement technique), pressurized preservative solution is applied on the basal end, which pushes the sap contained in the vascular bundle out and then replaces it with a preservative solution. This technique is only possible on a freshly cut bamboo because vascular bundle is still wet.
1. A big cylinder, fitted with:
• A pressure gauge: The pressure inside the cylinder is always kept at 20-25 psi, which is enough to send the solution inside the bamboo.
• Solution inlet: a mixed solution is poured through this inlet.
• Solution regulator: it regulates how much solution is to be let out of the cylinder.
• Hand pump: a simple manual pump to put pressure into the cylinder. An electric compressor can be used if labor is expensive.
• Pressure regulator: to regulate how much pressure is to be let inside the cylinder.
• Solution outlet, which was later, split into 7 outlets, to let the solution out. See the fig.

Modified Boucherie Treatment Plant (Fig. 1)

A nozzle connecting bamboo. (Fig.3)

Nozzle: a closer look (Fig. 4)
This is a very simple technique, which can be operated by almost anyone. We have taken our treatment plant to the rural areas and more then 50% of the operators have been women.
• The cylinder is ¾ filled with preservative. We are now using boron compound, and we are testing neem and cow urine.
• The cylinder is pressurized (up to 20-25 psi) using a simple manual pump.
• Valve in the nozzle is open for a split second to let the air out
• Nozzle is connected to the bamboo, which is made airtight using rubber tube.
• Sap starts dripping from the branch in almost 5 minutes. It takes about half hour for the preservative to come out from the opposite end)
• Treatment is done for atleast an hour so that the preservative can reach all parts of the bamboo.
• Bamboo is then stored horizontally in a rain-protected area till it dries.
• We are currently using Boron Compound, i.e. Borax, boric acid and water were used in 1:1:10 ratio.
• We have also used neem.
Results using Boron Compound:
Six months after the treatment, we found the following results:
• Molds were formed on the outside and the inside of the ends in almost all the bamboo.
• If the parts where molds were formed were split open, they were found to be clean and unaffected. Thus mold were only limited to the outside.
• Most of the bamboo had white termite like bugs, but they did not penetrate inside. They seemed to content living in the mold.
• 30% of the bamboo’s end where attacked by powder beetle, however they were limited only to the top ends. Only 6 out of 50 bamboos were infected inside. See Fig. 5
Example of an infected bamboo.(fig. 5)
The reason most of the bamboo had mold in it is because they were not properly dried. They were dried in a closed environment, which had very little sunlight and air circulation. So a new kind of storage was built for another batch of treated bamboo, which had enough air circulation and sunlight yet they were protected against the rain (see Figure 6). In the treated batch the mold were not formed but they still had beetle infection, but yet again they were only in the top ends. It is not a big problem because during design and construction, by protecting the ends, we can stop the infection.
• ½ kilo neem was first boiled in 10 liters water for about half an hour. It was then cooled down; the result was a very thick black neem concentrate. However, it was very difficult to penetrate the solution through the treatment plant so the solution was again diluted at 1: 5 ratio with water.
• The solution was forced into the bamboo using boucherie treatment plant. The solution started coming out from the other end but not through the branches. The explanation was that vascular bundles are wider on the inner part compared to the periphery; therefore the solution could only penetrate on the inner part.
• The solution was then filtered to get rid of the particles, after which the solution easily penetrated the bamboo!
The experimented was successful in terms of penetrating the neem solution into the bamboo. The effect of the solution on preservation has yet to be studied. We are also planning on using cow urine because traditionally it has been used to treat wood.


• The treatment plant can be locally and economically constructed.
• Our three treatment plant successfully treated 1200 bamboo in a month.
• Traditional treatment preservative can be used with this technique: for example neem and cow urine.
• It can be operated with a simple instruction by almost anyone.
• Since this can be taken to rural areas, it can be provide employment to the locals.
• It is a fast and effective process.
• The treatment can only be done for freshly cut bamboo.
• It is only cost effective when one is treating more then 25 bamboo.
• Boron compound is not available everywhere, and the alternative like neem and cow urine have to be explored.


As per our objective we have found a simple and effective way of treating bamboo Modified Boucherie Technique. We have successfully treated more then 2000 bamboo using this technique and have trained many people in the process. If we get enough funding we will further explore neem and cow urine solution. However, with the success of the technique, we have already started design and construction in many parts of Nepal. After seeing the technique and our bamboo craftsmanship, more people are interested in using bamboo. Let bamboo prevail. Please check www.abari.org to see our projects.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

10 Elements of Successful Bamboo Production

Learning first the different practices in bamboo plant care is a requisite in bamboo production. This is especially important when planning to establish bamboo plantations in commercial scale.

After being convinced that bamboo farming is a viable business you can now ready to start your farm development. The first step of which is to prepare a Master Plan. Familiarity with the issues on Bamboo Production is essential, though these techniques are the same for all crop production. 

Bamboos are unique plants with various properties and growth habit requiring special care. There are tall and dwarf bamboo, erect and climbing bamboo, running and clumping bamboo.

The paper Bamboo Production and Propagation Methods (pdf) provides guidance in the establishment of plantations for clumping bamboo. We will now discuss the 10 Elements of Successful Bamboo Production.

1. Watering. 
Many species of bamboo, particularly the thorny bamboo or kawayan tinik (Bambusa blumeana) can thrive with scant rainfall. For optimum growth, however, sufficient water should be supplied to the bamboo plants especially at seedling stage, in sandy soils, and during drought or dry season. 

2. Weeding. 
We should constantly suppress the number one hindrance for maximum yeilds: weeds. Weeds are a competition for water, nutrients and light in your Bamboo Plantation. 

3. Mulching. 
Mulching is the operation which consists of the laying or placing of any material, either organic or inorganic, natural or synthetic, on the ground to minimize loss of water from the soil through evaporation, to suppress weed growth, to control erosion, and to regulate soil temperature.

After planting Bamboo, we can collect foliage, leaves or straws of weeds within the farm and deposit these at the bases of the seedlings. The thicker the mulch, the better, but be sure that it is compacted and not loose matter around our planting. When decomposed, these will become organic fertilizers. 

4. Cover Cropping. 
Planting of cover crops is recommended as an integral part of bamboo plant care. Cover crops are plants grown or maintained for purposes like those of mulches, with the addition that they are live. Seeds of leguminous vines can be seeded or broadcasted.

5. Crop Protection. 
Bamboo is resistant to insect pests and diseases. Should there be incidence, apply any pesticide. To ensure that the plants will not be injured by astray animals, each should be provided with a tree guard or the whole plantation is fenced. The fence will also exclude intruders who may be tempted to harvest young shoots.
As protection from fire especially during dry months, strips of land can be made into firebreaks by plowing to get rid of combustible vegetation.

6. Fertilizing. 
Although bamboo plants can survive in poor soils, it is advantageous to apply fertilizer for optimum growth. Fertilizer application at the rate of 200-300 gm per plant starts after planting and every 3-4 months thereafter. As the clumps become thicker, the rate of fertilizer should also be increased progressively. The application of fertilizer can be scheduled at the start and at the end of the rainy season in areas having pronounced dry and rainy seasons.
Organic fertilizers such as compost and manures may also be used in combination with or as a substitute to synthetic fertilizers.

7. Pruning. 
The lower branches of the culms should be removed to enhance farm visibility, promote air movement and facilitate ease in fertilization and harvesting. Partial pruning of the thorny thicket surrounding the clumps of kawayan tinik is also recommended to allow passage between clumps especially when planted with narrow spacing. Sufficient thicket should be retained to hold the culms erect.

8. Cleaning. 
Thinning or removal of dead, damaged and defective culms is done 3 years after planting. This will promote visibility and provide more space for the growth of new shoots. In large clumps, removal of young shoots with narrow diameter is recommended. These will develop into small culms but will likely become hindrances during harvesting.

9. Roguing. 
Roguing is the removal of off-types and is an essential part of bamboo plant care in bhudda belly (Bambusa ventricosa). In such species, it is expected that shoots belonging to bayog (Bambusa sp.) will grow within the clump. Left unchecked, bayog will invade the clump and, ultimately, it will consist purely of bayog culms

To preserve the specific identity of the clump, off-types should be removed immediately. The rhizome from where the off-type culm originated should be removed.

10. Harvesting. 
Mature culms of desirable sizes are ready for harvest at 3-5 years after planting. Harvesting is preferably done during dry months. The removal of culms will promote the growth of new shoots, in time for the incoming rainy season.

These practices will improve your Bamboo harvests and Production. I hope that you have learned a lot from these simple techniques. I hope that you will have a Successful Bamboo Business!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Philippine President issues EO 879

Bamboo is growing popularity for construction because of its structural strength, flexibility and sustainability as a building material. Unlike hardwoods that can not be easily replenished, it takes bamboos 2-5 years, depending on the variety, to harvest; and no need to replant. 

With the world's increasing sensitivity to the environment, caused by the Tsunami in Japan and Global Warming fears, the world is espousing Green Architecture. Consequently, they are introducing eco-friendly materials such as bamboo.

In the Philippines, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo created the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (PBIDC)by issuing Executive Order No. 879 on May 14, 2010. It created the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council and directed the use of bamboo for at least 25 percent of the desk and other furniture requirements of public elementary and secondary schools. It also directed the prioritization in the use of bamboo in furniture, fixtures and other construction requirements of government facilities. 

One who engages in growing bamboo should be familiar the growth stages of the plant. Moreover, the Order gave strong and logical reasons that “the Philippines has committed to reforest at least 500,000 hectares with bamboo as part of the 1 million hectares of designated areas as its contribution to the ASEAN commitment of 20 million hectares of new Forest by 2020 as part of its initiatives to improve the environment”.

This pronouncement indicates that growing bamboo is an international initiative designed to mitigate adverse climatic changes and for ecological enhancement. The statistics also indicate the feasibility of establishing plant nurseries. The Bamboo indeed is here to stay.

Bamboo Farming as a Viable Global Crop Venture

There is a new recommended crop today: bamboo. It is not a vegetable nor a fruit but they harvest it all the same.

The potential of growing bamboo has expanded.
This is primarily due to advances in the engineered bamboo technology in conjunction with the worldwide concern to mitigate Global Warming. 

Botong (Gigantochloa levis) is recommended for growing bamboo in commercial scale.

The bamboo plant is no longer a poor man’s timber. Traditionally used for household convenience including source of low-cost materials for house construction, tools, vegetable and ornamentation, it has now established its commercial value as a timber substitute and for a multiple number of uses as an engineered product.

Engineered bamboo or e-bamboo is the mechanical and chemical manipulation of the bamboo pole to produce products which serve as substitute for wood. The engineered products include planks, tiles, balusters, mats, veneer, plywood and boards.

Finished products using 100 percent engineered bamboo include doors, windows, flooring, trusses, beams, chairs, desks, tables and furniture.

In Mexico City, Architect Simon Velez built the 55,200-square-foot Nomadic Museum using bamboo which is also referred to as “vegetal steel”. The building occupied half of the Zocalo, Latin America’s largest plaza. He built more structures around the world. (Associated Press, 2008). The press release also says that there are a few commercial bamboo farms to meet the growing demand.

The bamboo plant is no longer a poor man’s timber. Traditionally used for household convenience including source of low-cost materials for house construction, tools, vegetable and ornamentation, it has now established its commercial value as a timber substitute and for a multiple number of uses as an engineered product.
Buddha belly (Bambusa ventricosa) has grown in importance for growing bamboo for ornamental and furniture purposes.  
According to Van Der Lugt and Lobovikov (2008), the current value of the international bamboo trade is probably between US$1.5 to $3 billion with China as the main supplier, followed by India. The European Union (EU) and USA are the largest importers, accounting for up to 80% of the total bamboo imports. They noted that besides flooring, markets for other engineered bamboo products such as veneer, panels and boards are growing.

The stable worlwide demand for wood and the increasing interest in sustainably produced timber further boost the potential market for industrial bamboo products. Among many western consumers, bamboo is an inherently sustainable resource. Thus industrial bamboo is seen to compete for hardwood in the twenty-first century.
However, the present supply from natural stands is limited. This needs to be increased manyfold by growing bamboo in available land.

According to Einav (2009), UNIDO has helped India “rediscover” bamboo. India’s current demand for bamboo is an estimated 27 million tons. But only 50 percent of that demand can be met because of lack of facilities for value addition and transportation.

Thorny bamboo (Bambusa blumeana) has high bending, crushing strength and elasticity. It is highly favored for growing bamboo intended for engineered products.
These worldwide trends on supply and demand, therefore, clearly strengthens the feasibility of growing bamboo as a viable crop venture in the World.