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Bamboo makes its case

BAMBOO and rattan have brought to the Expo the right solutions to sustainable urban development with their charms fully demonstrated in nine pavilions, officials from the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan said at the organization's Pavilion Day yesterday.

"When you consider that Expo's key objective is to showcase how to enhance urban living while protecting the environment, the message couldn't be clearer," said Coosje Hoogendoorn, INBAR's director general.

"Bamboo and rattan are a genuine solution."

The nine pavilions using bamboo and rattan are Spain, India, Indonesia, Norway, Vietnam, Peru, Madrid, the German-Chinese House and INBAR.

"They are all amazing structures that have transformed Expo into the world's largest demonstration of the incredible versatility, durability and sustainability of bamboo and rattan," said Hoogendoorn.

"The Spanish pavilion, for example, represents the most incredible use of rattan I've ever seen.

"It uses 8,500 individual rattan panels, handmade by craftsmen in Shandong Province, to create a giant, hand-woven rattan basket, which to me resembles the skirt of a flamenco dancer."

The German-Chinese House is a unique bamboo membrane building.

"The physical properties of bamboo are exceptional in that it's as strong as steel and yet incredibly flexible," said Markus Heinsdorff, German designer of the pavilion.

"But bamboo's qualities go far beyond the material," he added.

"Its inherent beauty lends grace and flair to architectural design, while its organic beauty makes us realize the potential for sustainable living."

The India Pavilion has the world's largest bamboo dome. With a height of 17 meters, the dome links 36 bamboo ribs, each a triangulation of nine bamboos.

While demonstrating the use of bamboo in high-end constructions, INBAR also aims to draw attention to the role it can play in disaster prevention and recovery.

"Bamboo not only offers an accessible and affordable option for post-disaster housing but also structures using it have proven especially resilient to earthquakes," said Guo Hengxiao, deputy director of Sichuan Province forestry department.

He said the provincial government is working with INBAR to strengthen the bamboo sector.


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