Timber and Bamboo – Specifications

Timber requirements:

  • Legally sourced
  • Sustainably sourced – most common certifications are FSC and PEFC.
  • Consider other materials if source country suffers from high levels of deforestation

Common sizes

Size Use
5cm x 5cm Non-structural elements
5cm x 10cm Non-column structural elements
10cm x 10cm Columns

Bamboo requirements:


  • Harvest bamboo in dry season.
  • Cut bamboo just above the first node.
  • Always use sharp tool or saw to avoid damage to bamboo.
  • Keep bamboo upright for two to three weeks. This helps to reduce the starch content of culms and as this lessens the a chances of insect attack.


  • Water treatment works better when bamboo is newly cut, dry bamboo does not absorb water as well.
  • Bamboo needs to been treated in clean or running water.
  • Bamboo needs to be treated for a minimum of 40 days.


  • Ensure that there are no cracks in the bamboo.
  • Avoid culms with any sign of deterioration or infection.
  • For the main structure of the house, select 3-5 year old bamboo.
  • Select fresh and light greyish green colored bamboo that is almost fully grown.

Common sizes

Size Use
6-10cm diameter Non-structural elements
10cm Columns and other structural elements