Elora Hardy left a successful career in the NY fashion scene to build bamboo houses in Indonesia. The Bali resident and her team have spent the last 5 years revolutionizing bamboo construction in the belief that it is an underused but ideal renewable resource. Hardy uses boron, which occurs naturally in nature, to treat the bamboo and make it indigestible to insects.
Hardy was inspired by her father, who “chose bamboo for all of the buildings on campus, because he saw it as a promise,” she explains in her TED talk. “It’s a promise to the kids. It’s one sustainable material that they will not run out of. And when I first saw these structures under construction about six years ago, I just thought, this makes perfect sense…Why hasn’t this happened sooner, and what can we do with it next?”
Bamboo has the compressive force of concrete, the strength-to-weight ratio of steel, and is one of the fastest growing plants in the world. Damage from insects and moisture are its primary weaknesses, but if treated, bamboo structures can last a lifetime.