The incredible potential of bamboo and building design for the tropics, with Trey Abernethy of “Natural Building Costa Rica:” 125


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Continuing with this series of exploring natural building materials, design techniques and traditions, I spoke with my friend Trey Abernethy, a long-time builder and now a bamboo craftsman. For over a decade Trey worked in the industrial building trades before moving to Costa Rica where he took a bamboo building course with Rodolpho Saenz that changed his trajectory. Trey now co-teaches bamboo building techniques with Rodolpho and designs and builds for clients in Costa Rica.

In this interview we cover a bit of every part of bamboo as a construction material. From the environmental benefits of planting bamboo culms and selecting varieties for construction, to treatment methods, joinery techniques, design consideration and longer-term maintenance. I’ve been passionate about the potential of bamboo for a while now and even did an internship with my friend and mentor Charlie Rendall which lead to designing and building a few hybrid structures and homes around Guatemala. If any of you are looking for more information on bamboo after you’ve listened to this episode, I would recommend the previous interview I did with Charlie Rendall which you can find links for in the show notes of this episode. We also refer to a handful of other natural building materials and techniques in this session so don’t forget to have a look in the archives of the abundant edge podcast including articles on various earthen building techniques. Gradually I intend to build an audio library of natural building so stay tuned.


Check out the new video series of permaculture farm tours in Costa Rica with Trey

Natural Building Costa Rica

Fica Morpho

Interview with Charlie Rendall about bamboo building

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