An Energy Efficient Bamboo House in China by Studio Cardenas

Project Title
Energy Efficient Bamboo House
Baoxixiang, Longquan, Lishui, Zhejiang, China
320 sqm
Completion Year
Studio Cardenas Conscious Design
Architect in Charge
Mauricio Cardenas Laverde
Local regulations, mock-ups, construction supervision
Kangye Architecture and Interior Design Institute, Shanghai
Main Contractor
Kangye Construction & Decoration Co., Ltd. Shanghai
Feng Shui Consultant
Vincent Fang
LIB – Longquan International Bamboo Commune

This project by Italian architects Studio Cardenas deals with the opportunity to design an Energy Efficient Experimental House in Baoxi, China for LIB (Longquan International Bamboo Commune), in the context of the new policies for sustainable growth of China.

Their proposal explores the potentiality of minimize carbon emissions, protection and natural ecological development through the use of the natural elements available in the area, such as sun, water, plants, wind and natural materials to achieve a high standard innovative house for the Chinese context.

Design Concept

The basic concept for the design of the house considered the following:

  • Bamboo, is a very special natural element present in Baoxi area which we use as structural element for the house as well as for the interiors;
  • Ground water cooling, underground water is an interesting natural resource available on site. Use underground water in a very simple manner to create a cooling system and also use for toilets wherenon-drinking water is acceptable;
  • Feng shui, to learn and apply the most significant concepts of this antique Chinese tradition to the house design;
  • Modularity and Industrialization, to create modular elements with the scope of creating an innovative industrialized bamboo construction system.

Bamboo Structure

For the structure of the House we explored new ways of building using bamboo as a construction material. Sustainability for us is not only the use of natural materials such as bamboo but to design appropriate construction solutions:

  • Designing dry-mounted connections not to weaken bamboo through perforation nor fill it in with concrete, and also to allow the replacement of bamboo poles if needed
  • Designing aluminum connections light and easy to assemble in order that the construction can be done  by local workers
  • Using same length of bamboo poles  and bamboo culms to achieve standardization and best quality control
  • Combining bamboo (vegetable steel) and steel to create an industrialized construction system
  • The application of a precise geometry (golden ratio) to achieve the standardization of the pieces, the best quality control and a harmonious aesthetic impact.

Energy Efficiency

Using the underground water is for the house the most interesting and sustainable solution, using a geothermal heat pump, which cools as well as heats the house. It’s incredibly efficient compared with the usual cooling and heating systems — at least 25% more efficient, and often much more. By digging into the earth the temperature is stable no matter what the season, no matter what the temperature above ground. By taking advantage of this more constant, even temperature, we can heat or cool the house. It is estimated that these systems use 15% less of the amount of energy a traditional chiller plant would use.

All pieces of the house will be modular as much as possible envisioning an industrialized production.

You can read more about the idea on the architect’s website.


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