Pisambilla Community is an indigenous Andino group located in the Cayambe region of Ecuador , in el mitad del mundo as they say, or the middle of the world. the community was in collaboration with Allpa Janpirina, for funding & instruction in sustainable-
is an intercultural organization for research, development and education in the arts, sciences and culture of sustainable living and land restoration.
an unsung hero among the world’s not-
The Birth of Boo-
originally, the project was to use metal-
although the reinforcement method chosen is based on sound principle, what you see in this example is pure experiment. it happens.
~let’s walk you through the construction process~
also, with a high degree of
soil compaction, one may
eliminate the need for floor reinforcement-
this soil turns out to be nearly pure kangawa, a volcanic residue, and
perfect for load-
3. the bamboo reinforcement frame is formed by first measuring the circumference of the tank and adding a 50 cm overlap, then making loads of bamboo strips, then wiring or tying them together, forming a one-
4. place the frame in the wet foundation, by using enough hands to carry it to the tank site, and sighting in the proper location of the bamboo frame. the frame is lowered and fixed into the concrete:
5. tie overlap and add chicken wire , or hardware cloth, over the bamboo frame, to provide local-
7. form & plaster the walls , not shown as I was away during this day (apologies!) is accomplished by cutting two wall-
8. tank finishing details. this next photo is why I call this the MIRACLE water tank. we were then called away, and the crew managed finishing details.
PLASTER THE DOME (continuing the wall plastering technique overhead),
not FILL THE TANK!
we returned a few days later horrified to see a 2-
this is a 1 to 2 inch-
thankfully, the tank was immediately drained and construction completed without breach or even small leaks, a true testament to an apparently sound boo-
hold on here. perhaps ‘maverick’ is strictly due to the not-
traditionally both have been relegated to the far corners of heretofore wholely incompatible genres of building science. therefore, maverick in this context just means not often done.
how often has a member material from the eco-
perhaps the truth is, we just haven’t tried enough.
it means, maybe we don’t know.
one shrinks and has nasty reactive chemicals. the other corrodes and whittles away to nothing. not to mention a higher budget and environmental cost.
bamboo is stronger-
In Defense of Boo-
the odd couple? perhaps. perhaps, we’re actually looking at a marriage more made in heaven than is the concrete-
and oh, by the bye? (now is 2017)
THIRTEEN YEARS LATER, THE WATER TANK IS STILL GOING STRONG.
see yous later. think I’ll go work on my reinforcement-
after all, the Universe favors the bold.
…where to from here, St. Peter?
(not shown: a 2” pvc conduit placed in the floor, with a valve pointing towards the lower farm, as an emergency and cleanout drain.)
6. form a dome with bamboo , by tying in more strips to connect the walls structurally, overhead. a 30 cm matrix dome is thus created, to complete the tank framing:
PHYSICS DOESN’T HELP HERE.
WHY this tank did not blow out immediately upon receiving
the initial drying phase is a mystery shrouded in starkly naked, dumb luck~
and you’re seeing it right here, folks.