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If you live in an area prone to hurricanes and have pretty much ruled out an eco-friendly prefabricated home for fear of looming disaster, Bamboo Living Homes might be for you. These structures are made with timber-grade bamboo and supporting materials and are engineered to withstand serious wind speeds (surviving a hurricane with 173 mph winds on one occasion!).
On the other hand, if you’re keen to build an eco-friendly home mostly by yourself but want to speed up the process and have the bare bones in place, Allwood Eagle Point might be the way to go. Allwood specialize in providing basic, eco-friendly prefabricated cabin kits made primarily in Scandinavia and the Baltic states. I recommend the three-bedroom, one-bathroom, 1108 sq. ft. cabin kit model (View Price on Amazon). Extra wall insulation packages are also available (View Price on Amazon). You can read my full review here.
What makes them green?
Bamboo Living Homes incorporate green design, LEED certification, and green construction to keep environmental impact low and to enhance indoor air quality. All of the products used for treatments and finishes are low in VOC (volatile organic compounds), they use the safest fungicide additives available, and they use toxic-chemical-free building materials to provide natural ventilation and help combat indoor air pollution.
Bamboo is arguably more eco-friendly than timber for home construction. Bamboo reaches maturity in just 4-6 years and can be harvested 2-3 years later, whereas many trees take five to ten times as long to be ready for harvest. Also, harvesting can be done by hand or small machine, rather than requiring large machinery powered by fossil fuels, and the harvest doesn’t kill the plant, unlike with trees. This means that bamboo continues to grow and sequester carbon, which doesn’t happen with tree stumps after logging.
There are also other environmental benefits to bamboo. For instance, bamboo can be used to remediate degraded land, helps retain water within a watershed, releases vastly more oxygen than the equivalent area of trees, can be grown on sloping land to reduce soil erosion, nutrient loss, and the kind of flooding and mud slides that may occur after clear-cutting and deforestation. Bamboo is also able to grow well without the need for pesticides and fertilizers, and it even helps mitigate water pollution in some cases by sequestering nitrogen. Finally, thanks to its height and resilience, it is a natural wind barrier that helps protect surrounding areas during typhoons, hurricanes, and other weather events.
Only if you have a panda in your family.
Seriously, though, Bamboo Living Homes are a great option for an eco-friendly prefabricated home, especially if you live somewhere tropical. For those of us who live somewhere a little cooler and where bamboo isn’t as abundant as timber, the eco-friendliness scale starts to tip back towards companies using locally grown sustainably sourced wood with serious eco-friendly insulation.
What else is great about Bamboo Living Homes?
Bamboo Living Homes are a Green America certified business!
What kind of eco-friendly prefab homes do they build?
Bamboo Living Homes offer a variety of prefabricated home designs, including a model with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a porch and loft area, starting at just $89,000.
Bamboo Living Homes offer a range of designs and packages. Their standard home package does not include architectural/engineering fees, site work, shipping, assembly, finish constructions/materials, customs, or tax, and the company does not provide build/construction services. Prices start at just $8,300 for the Zen 100, a microhome with just 100 sq. ft. of interior space and a 40 sq. ft. porch area. The Bonsai tiny home has a 184 sq. ft. interior and a 52 sq. ft. loft and starts at $17,980. Other models include:
Kona 192 – a studio apartment with 192 sq. ft. interior and a 64 sq. ft. porch, starting at $15,360
Ohana 15 – a studio apartment with 242 sq. ft. interior and 157 sq. ft. porch, starting at $22,795
Puna 352 – a studio apartment with 352 sq. ft. interior, 96 sq. ft. porch, and 81 sq. ft. storage loft, starting at $27,200
Zen 400 – a 400 sq. ft. studio home with a 96 sq. ft. porch, starting at $30,320
Kalani – a 449 sq. ft. studio home with a 302 sq. ft. porch, starting at $42,775
Zen 560 – a 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom, 560 sq. ft. home with 160 sq. ft. porch, starting at $43,600
Bali 576 – a studio home with 576 sq. ft. interior and 144 sq. ft. porch, starting at $43,920
Pacific 612 – a 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom, 492 sq. ft. home with 462 sq. ft. porch and 120 sq. ft. loft, starting at $61,734
Bali 768 – a 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom, 768 sq. ft. home with 192 sq. ft. porch, starting at $56,256
Zen 880 – a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom 880 sq. ft. home with 192 sq. ft. porch, starting at $62,320
Bali 960 – a 2/3-bedroom, 2-bathroom 960 sq. ft. home with 256 sq. ft. porch, starting at $70,080
Pacific 992 – a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 872 sq. ft. home, with 570 sq. ft. porch and 120 sq. ft. loft, starting at $89,162
Celestial 1000 – a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom 1000 sq. ft. home with 280 sq. ft. porch, starting at $73,600
Zen 1040 – a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom 1040 sq. ft. home with 256 sq. ft. porch, starting at $74,960
Pacific Queen – a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 938 sq. ft. home with 500 sq. ft. porch and 160 sq. ft. loft, starting at $93,478
Bali 1152 – a 2/3-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 1152 sq. ft. home with 256 sq. ft. porch, starting at $81,792
Polynesian 1294 – a 2/3-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 1152 sq. ft. home with 640 sq. ft. porch and 142 sq. ft. loft, starting at $114,124
Pacific Sanctuary – a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 1293 sq. ft. home with 873 sq. ft. porch and 282 sq. ft. loft, starting at $143,235
Bali 1344 – a 3-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom, 1344 sq. ft. home with 448 sq. ft. porch, starting at $100,800
Hanalei 1352 – a 3-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom, 1352 sq. ft. home with 856 sq. ft. porch, starting at $119,640
Polynesian 1619 – a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 1344 sq. ft. home with 784 sq. ft. porch and 275 sq. ft. loft, starting at $144,795
Villa 1950 – 3-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom, 1950 sq. ft. home with 835 sq. ft. porch, starting at $154,575
Villa 2240 – a 2-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom, 2240 sq. ft. home with 880 sq. ft. porch, starting at $174,000
Villa 2745 – a 4-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom, 2745 sq. ft. home with 656 sq. ft. porch, starting at $194,220
Celestial 3 – a 3-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom, 2766 sq. ft. home with 1163 sq. ft. porch, starting at $218,295
These prices are all for the Hybrid Home Package, which is ideal for areas where building codes require insulation for heating or cooling. The walls are conventionally framed on-site (materials not included in package), and finished with exterior bamboo siding, roof system, porches, and bamboo trim. Hybrid Home Packages combine the Signature Series’ unique exterior look, with a modern, smooth wall interior.
Prices are a little higher for the same models in the Signature Series style because this package includes bamboo-framed exterior single-wall panels, complete with natural split bamboo exterior siding. The Signature Series is suited to temperate or tropical climates where building codes allow single-wall construction. For your interior wall finish, options include paint of your choice, woven bamboo, or split bamboo, with exposed bamboo throughout.
Who are Bamboo Living Homes and why should you trust them?
Bamboo Living Homes created the first certified and permitted bamboo homes in North America. The first such home was built in 1996 in Hawaii and is still standing proud today. The company has built more than 350 similar homes in Hawaii and around the world, each one helping to reduce the impact of conventional construction. In 2004 Bamboo Living became the first company in the world to offer International Code Council (ICC-ES) approved bamboo green homes by achieving ESR 1636.