Bamboo was the word on everyone’s lips when Bilbao Architects (BAT) won first prize in the Housing Design Competition, sponsored by SHG in April of this year.

The competition has played a big part in helping SHG draw up a design brief for the homes it will be funding. The design emphasises the use of local materials, accessibility and energy efficiency.

Housing Executive, Andy Crowe said:

“BAT is currently working on a demonstration house using laminated bamboo, but if more homes are to be built from it we still need an entrepreneur willing to set up a local processing plant and grow more bamboo.”

In the meantime the potential of Eucalyptus as another source of building material has also been identified.

Andy said:

“Eucalyptus, if treated properly, can be termite resistant and so can be a good building material. Recently I was on the wharf looking at a ten foot high pile of imported timber, which seems so unnecessary when we have 40,000 eucalyptus trees on the Island. We have the Sawmill, the trees and, as Government, we would be very keen to kick-start the industry with a commitment to fund houses built in this way.”

SHG will be hosting a workshop on Wednesday 21 August from 5 – 7pm in the ENRD offices at Scotland to discuss the obstacles to developing a Eucalyptus timber industry and how they can be overcome. Agricultural experts, planners and funders will all be there.

Anybody interested in investing, building or working in a timber industry are welcome to attend. Please call Karen Isaac on 2270 or email ( if you would like to attend.

12 August 2013

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