“A renewable material for a sustainable future”

This workshop is for those who appreciate bamboo and all its beauty, bounty and abundance; its strength and structural ability; its flexibility to bend and not break; its multi-functionality and usefulness; and its sustainability. It’s for those who wish to design and build bamboo structures for their home, farm or community and become more self-reliant, energy efficient and sustainable.

About the workshop

BAMBOO, the planet’s most versatile and multifunctional plant species with over 5,000 uses, plays an important role in the home garden or farm in many ways. It is a renewable, environmentally friendly and sustainable material that can be used for multiple functions for construction material, craft, food, land repair and landscaping.

Bamboo is an aesthetically pleasing as well as an excellent construction material for building homes; studios; carports; garden gazebos; green-houses; fences; trellises and many other structures. It is also an excellent material for craft with which a huge range of personal and household products can be made, including bread boards, baskets, jewelry, furniture, and many more.

Workshop Project

Over three fabulous days participants of this workshop will learn to build a bamboo bridge from design to completion. This project demonstrates an array of techniques used in bamboo construction and provides participants with the knowledge, skills and confidence to be able to build their own structures. It will be fun packed, informative, hands on and very practical. Don’t miss it!

Workshop Outcomes

This practical hands-on workshop will cover the practical aspects of building with bamboo. It covers all the important basics you need to know including joinery, cutting, spitting, growing, preserving, harvesting, preservation and management techniques. The aim of the workshop is to educate students about the potential of bamboo as an alternative material for various products, furniture and architecture.

In essence, after this bamboo workshop you will:

  • appreciate this wonderful plant material.
  • understand the properties of bamboo as an alternative material;
  • know the various uses of bamboo in the past and the present;
  • know the ways in which bamboo can be utilised for architecture;
  • have the skills and knowledge to be able to design and build your own bamboo projects;
  • be more self-reliant, energy efficient and sustainable.

About the Trainer

Munir Vahanvati

Munir is an architect and co-founder of Giant Grass with more than 8 years of experience in bamboo construction. He has worked on bamboo projects in both India and Australia and is passionate about using the natural form of bamboo to create rhythmic structures. Munir’s first bamboo project involved teaching local craftsmen in Dang, India the importance of design in creating market value. Since then his main focus has been on design innovation, creating designs that are efficient and attractive and minimise labour input to maximise productivity. He has designed many products and structures out of bamboo and likes to get hands-on making some of the products. He has facilitated community workshops and short courses at the universities of NSW, Adelaide and Canberra. In September 2009 Munir presented a paper at the World Bamboo Congress in Bangkok, ‘Explorations in Bamboo Construction’. He is a fabulous trainer.

For more information on Munir & Mittul’s work and projects please visit the Giant Grass website: www.giantgrassdesign.com

Course details

When: A long-weekend workshop Sat 26th; Sun 27th & Mon 28th January 2013. It will commence 9am Jan 26th and finish 4pm Mon 28th.

Where: Bandusia Country Retreat, 1056 Upper Macdonald Rd, upper Macdonald, St Albans. (2 hours from Sydney CBD)

Cost and inclusions: Two or three days $310; 1 day $175. Please note that 3 days is best. Cost includes all course notes and materials, organic lunches and morning and afternoon teas; 10% discount for PSI members, and LETS accepted.

Accommodation & meals: A range of on-site accommodation at “Bandusia” is available for all budgets for the Friday Saturday and or Sunday evenings. The morning breakfasts and evening dinners are also included in the accommodation fee.

Bring: Design or photos of your place to discuss your bamboo building projects; work shoes; gloves; hat; sun glasses; insect repellant; camera; water bottle. All other materials will be provided and included in the workshop fee. If you are staying at Bandusia, you may wish to bring some refreshments to supplement those available locally but in limited supply at the St Albans café and pub.

Workshop Program

The workshop program is largely practical (constructing a bridge), providing hands-on experience, skills and confidence. Classroom sessions will also provide information and theory and will cover the following topics of:

  • Bamboo as a plant & basics of its anatomy
  • Various species of bamboo, international & Australian context
  • Examples of Bamboo construction projects throughout the world
  • Useful species for building construction
  • Design process for bamboo construction (project, brief & design)
  • How to plant and maintain construction bamboo
  • Effective joinery
  • Required tools for bamboo construction
  • Bamboo books and resources
  • Evening slides, displays and discussion