25 March 2012

Bamboo preparations continue with Kevin

After Kevin arrived on Monday, our work with the bamboo became much more accurate thanks to his expertise and equipment he brought with him.

Who is this man?

Since we decided to take on the challenge of using materials that we, ourselves, have next to no experience of, we realized we needed some guidance and decided to find ourselves a consultant specialized on bamboo and earth structures. 

That's when we found Kevin Rowell. Kevin runs a company called The Natural Builders in California. The Natural Builders collaborate with artists, building professionals and individuals around the world in a range of fields from the creation of ecological spaces, to the development of new materials, to the understanding and improvement of vernacular building techniques. He has also worked in Haiti, Thailand and Laos among other countries in different development projects. 

And now he is here in Phnom Penh with us for two weeks which we are extremely excited about!

24 March 2012

Visiting Orussey market

All photos in this post by Kevin Rowell

This week we visited the Orussey market in search for the tools we need for our bamboo construction. We were happy to find everything we need and also piles and piles of things that we don't actually need but were interesting to come across anyway.

Sewage pit turned into a sand pit

If you thought (as we did) that emptying some water and organic matter from the bottom of a big, open hole would be quite a straightforward thing to do, you were mistaken. If we had a tank truck in our use and wide, durable roads for it to drive on, things would be different but as we don't, several measures have been taken before the actual emptying work which is due to happen next week.

20 March 2012

The bamboo fun starts!

On Monday our bamboo consultant Kevin Rowell arrived and we are very happy to have him! First thing from the airport we took him to see the conditions on the site.

16 March 2012

Treating the bamboos

Bamboo is a very sustainable and also durable material as long as you treat and maintain it correctly. A post of maintaining the bamboo structures will follow later but currently we are working on the pre-treatment.

09 March 2012

Finally things are starting to happen at the site! The first patch of bamboos has been cleaned, treatment pools are ready and holes through the nodes are being punched. This morning half of the bamboos were in the pool. Canopy was not steep enough and broke last night in the rain, but it is being fixed. The only thing lacking now are the treatment chemicals, which we are buying from CBET project in Chi Pat because local shops don't have the chemicals in stock, they need to be ordered weeks beforehand.

06 March 2012

Visit to Oudong

Last week we visited Oudong which used to be the capital of Cambodia before Phnom Penh was and which today is the new home to many poor people who get evicted from the center of Phnom Penh because of different city development projects. Hilla Rudanko and Anssi Kankkunen designed and built a vocational school (which has been mentioned in this blog before as well) for one of these relocation sites las year. Now they are back in Cambodia fixing some problems that have occurred during the first year of the school's existence.