Timo Bundi, Luis Felipe Lopez, Guillaume Habert, Edwin Zea Escamilla

Bridging Housing and Climate Needs: Bamboo Construction in the Philippines

  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

The Philippines faces a significant shortage of affordable housing, and with the growing urgency brought by climate change, there is a pressing need for more sustainable and affordable building solutions. One promising option is cement bamboo frame buildings, which blend traditional bamboo building methods with modern materials. This approach is already being implemented in social housing projects in the Philippines. Dynamic lifecycle assessment (DLCA) calculations show that these bamboo buildings can effectively reduce overall CO2 emissions. Before a building’s end of life, biogenic effects offset approximately 43% of its total production emissions, while the temporary carbon storage afforded by these biogenic materials further reduces total emissions by 14%. In comparison to concrete brick buildings, bamboo constructions reduce emissions by 70%. Transforming an unmanaged bamboo plantation into a managed plantation can potentially triple the capacity for long-term CO2 storage in biogenic materials and further reduce net emissions by replacing concrete with bamboo as the main construction material. Thus, bamboo construction offers a potent, economically viable carbon offsetting strategy for social housing projects.

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