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Natural Building

The incredible potential of bamboo and building design for the tropics, with Trey Abernethy of “Natural Building Costa Rica:” 125

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Continuing with this series of exploring natural building materials, design techniques and traditions, I spoke with my friend Trey Abernethy, a long-time builder and now a bamboo craftsman. For over a decade Trey worked in the industrial building trades before moving to Costa Rica where he took a bamboo building course with Rodolpho Saenz that changed his trajectory. Trey now co-teaches bamboo building techniques with Rodolpho and designs and builds for clients in Costa Rica.

In this interview we cover a bit of every part of bamboo as a construction material. From the environmental benefits of planting bamboo culms and selecting varieties for construction, to treatment methods, joinery techniques, design consideration and longer-term maintenance. I’ve been passionate about the potential of bamboo for a while now and even did an internship with my friend and mentor Charlie Rendall which lead to designing and building a few hybrid structures and homes around Guatemala. If any of you are looking for more information on bamboo after you’ve listened to this episode, I would recommend the previous interview I did with Charlie Rendall which you can find links for in the show notes of this episode. We also refer to a handful of other natural building materials and techniques in this session so don’t forget to have a look in the archives of the abundant edge podcast including articles on various earthen building techniques. Gradually I intend to build an audio library of natural building so stay tuned.

Resources:

Check out the new video series of permaculture farm tours in Costa Rica with Trey

Natural Building Costa Rica

Fica Morpho

Interview with Charlie Rendall about bamboo building

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