Australia's first student designed and built bamboo building has been constructed at the University of New South Wales' Ecoliving Centre.
Approximately thirty architectural students constructed the sustainable 'bamboo love shack' with the help of two bamboo experts currently studying at the Faculty of the Built Environment. Mittul Shah and Munir Vahanvati have extensive experience in training Indian communities in bamboo construction.
"The students learnt about the construction potential of bamboo," said Peter Graham, a lecturer in Architecture at UNSW and 'love shack' leader. "There has been little training in bamboo as a construction material in Australia and having Mittul and Munir advising on the project gave the students a unique experience."
The Love Shack highlights bamboo as a building material that could potentially be used for building sheds, gazebos and even houses.
"Bamboo has a lower environmental impact than steel, is cheaper to buy, strong and lightweight and when it comes to aesthetics, bamboo wins hands down," said Peter. "With some varieties of bamboo taking only five months to grow to full size, bamboo is a readily available, environmentally friendly alternative to steel."
The entire project took only three weeks to complete: two weeks in design and one week in construction. The bamboo used in the project came from a plantation in Bellingen, in north-east New South Wales.
The Bamboo Love Shack can be viewed at the UNSW Ecoliving Centre, 14 Arthur Street Randwick, Monday to Friday during business hours.