The general consensus in Nicaragua is that bamboo is a material for the poor. It’s only used for scaffolding during construction because, as everyone knows, it’s strong and cheap. In contrast, TU Delft architecture students view bamboo as the new gold when it comes to sustainable construction. In 2013, they started a project to build a sustainable bamboo house.
The students organised workshops with contemporaries from the BICU University in El Rama, inviting them to sketch their dream house while thoroughly questioning their choices. Why use concrete? Why place such a small living room in the middle, and have such a large veranda? This ultimately resulted in a rough design for a house. The construction of the house drew widespread media coverage and in August 2015, a foundation was set up to facilitate the construction of social housing using local materials.