I’m especially happy to bring you today’s interview because I’ll be speaking with one of the natural builders who’s most influenced and helped me out to get to where I am today running a profitable natural building and regenerative design company. His name is Charlie Rendall and he’s the owner of Return to the Forest, a natural design and building firm in the next town over from me in San Marcos la Laguna here in Guatemala. For 13 years Charlie has been living in this little lake-side community and first started learning to build while working on structure on his own land. Through help from other colleagues and friends who got him interested in building with bamboo, Charlie gradually trained himself and a group of local construction workers to build and design some of the most impressive natural buildings that I’ve seen anywhere in the world.
I first met Charlie in May of 2016 when I reached out to him to interview him for an article on my website the last time I was traveling in Guatemala. I was so inspired by his work that I arranged with him to come back as an intern in order to learn more about bamboo and managing larger contracts and designs. I then lived and worked with him for four months and learned so much that has helped me in all aspects as a builder and business owner.
In this interview we’ll be going into detail about bamboo as a building material and many of its’ advantages and disadvantages. Charlie goes into how its’ produced and treated for use in construction as well as how to maintain it so that it lasts as long as possible and performs well. Don’t forget to check out his website at returntotheforest.org and have a look at the pictures of some of the many incredible projects that he’s worked on over the years. There will be links to all of it in the show notes for this episode on the website as well.
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The Bambu Guesthouse project pictures
Tagged as: wattle and daub.
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