Safe and Ecological Preservation of Bamboo
I am designing a house to suite the emerging middle class in Ghana, looking to understand more about bamboo preservation techniques that offer excellent protection against rot and insects.
From what I’ve read thusfar, it seems that chemical treatments will be most effective, and I am searching for a solution that will be environmentally safe, to both nature and the inhabitants. Any recommendations, especially with regards to being situated in southern Ghana (a hot and humid climate with two distinct rainy seasons each year)?
Stephane from Guadua Bamboo replied:
The most eco-friendly and effective way to cure bamboo is by mixing boric acid with borax (you can buy this as a pre-mixed solution under the name: Timbor) in a ratio of 1:1.5 with a concentration of 5%. In other words mix 2kg of boric acid with 3kg of borax in 100 liters of water. Perforate the diaphragms (in case of round poles) and submerge them in the water-boron mix for 4-5 days. The vertical soak diffusion is an alternative method for submerging bamboo in tanks.
Boron is basically salt, it protects the bamboo from fungus and insect attacks, but it doesn’t harm the environment. It is however a non-fixing preservative, which means the boron will leach out in direct contact with rain. This you will have to keep in mind when designing the house.
The cheapest and greenest way to cure bamboo is by the moon phases (menguante).