Bamboo weaves a fitting shelter

Bamboo weaves a fitting shelter

Posted: 19 April 2018

Older members of the Bhutanese Community are keeping traditional skills alive weaving a new shelter at the Community Farm on Gateway Island.

Using locally sourced bamboo, the Bhutanese Community Farm rangers have been meeting weekly with community members to craft a natural shelter using traditional weaving techniques. The bamboo is split and woven in sections to create panels for walls and roof.

This new shelter replaces the old shadecloth and canvas structure providing shade for volunteers and visitors to the farm. Because of the nature of the site - low on the Murray floodplain - all structures need to be able to be removed easily in the event of flooding.

Light and portable, the new bamboo panels are easily removed. Whereas the old shelter creates landfill at the end of it's life, the new will be almost entirely recycled back to the earth as the seasons break down the bamboo. By sourcing bamboo from local sites where it has become an environmental weed, the project has added environmental benefit.

As well as being a much more sustainable option, the woven shelter has great asthetic beauty and has been a social and community building experience for all involved.

Buddi and Gedar work on the frame for the new shelter
New frame ready for cladding
Bamboo panel weaving in progress
Outside of roof panel complete
Black plastic is placed between two panels to waterproof the roof.
Roof panel complete and in place