Lamboo is a company that specializes in creating laminated bamboo building products. Their structural members are both beautiful and strong. Lamboo products are on average 40 percent more stable than wood in response to temperature and moisture changes; 10 times stronger than wood in tension; three times stronger than wood mechanically. In addition to the superior strength of Lamboo, it is also antimicrobial, pest resistant, and non-toxic. (http://www.lamboo.us)
Stramit Compressed Agricultural Fiber Board
Stramit Compressed Agricultural Fiber Board (CAF) is a prefabricated panel system of wall construction. This prefabricated system allows for buildings to be erected extremely quickly. The panels are manufactured using wheat and rice straw, both purely waste products of agricultural harvest. Advantages to using the CAF panels include tighter building envelopes, utility savings, and thermal capacity. (http://www.stramitusa.com)
Earth bag construction is a markedly sustainable method of construction using gunny sacks filled with soil or other natural materials to build structural walls. The bags are placed in layers on top of each other and different materials, such as barbed wire, can be used as ‘mortar’ to increase friction between layers and thus a reliable connection. Construction with this method is very appropriate for areas with an unskilled labor force. When bags are filled with soil they provide thermal mass which reduces interior temperatures in hot climates.
Rammed Earth Construction
Rammed earth walls are constructed by compacting a mixture of aggregate and a small amount of clay within formwork. Cement can be added to stabilize the wall and increase its strength and durability. The technique of ramming can be done by hand or with a mechanical device. Rammed earth walls resist compression forces well and like concrete can be reinforced. Research shows that these walls perform better under earthquake conditions than brick or block walls. Another benefit is that rammed earth walls have high thermal mass, which is desirable in some of Haiti's microclimate. The building technique is also sustainable because the soil can be taken directly from the site or a nearby area, limiting transportation costs. Furthermore, it provides the added benefit of being acoustically sound, as well as rodent and termite proof.
Bamboo is a fast growing plant that can provide food, building materials, charcoal and other products. It requires less moisture than most plants and can support reforestation, prevent erosion, and restore soil. These benefits of growing bamboo and its usefulness after harvesting make bamboo an ideal product for agriculture in Haiti. Bamboo as a building material is extremely strong and versatile. Typical elements used are canes, halved canes, lath, beading, boards and rope ties. Bamboo construction is advantageous because it can be pre-fabricated; assembly is simple; structural parts are easy to replace; structural members can be dismantled and reused.