Instituto ÇaraKura

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Bioconstructions and Bamboo


The ÇaraKura site is characterized by its exuberant bamboo. Being cultivated since more than 30 years, 13 types of thissplendid and multifunctional plant are currently growing at the place. Bamboo can be used for instance to build furniture, houses, music instruments, crafts and it sprouts serve as food. For its rapid development, its versatility of uses and beauty in form, it presents itself as an excellent alternative construction material.

The Instituto ÇaraKura constantly organizes courses, workshops and lectures, in partnership with the artisan andbamboo-expert Rodrigo Primavera, the organization Taquara Renda from Paraguay, represented by the architect and bamboo specialist Guillermo Gayo, as well as BAMBUSC, the bamboo association of Santa Catarina.

Ecological Sanitary System

The process of biodigestion is quite old, as it was already used more than 200 years ago in India. It functions through the anaerobic decomposition of organic material that's being digested by bacteria, transforming it into biogas and stabilized effluents, which can be used, odorless, for agricultural purposes. The phases of the process, notably the enzymatic, acid and methanogenic hydrolysis, eliminate any toxic substances and pathogens. Instead of going directly back to nature, untreated, as it is very common in the region, the polluted wastewater can be reused.

We built such a sanitary system, a dry toilet, in 2010, working with Bamboo and Caltifice. The latter is a mixture of soil, sand, vegetable fiber and small amounts of lime and cement. Its name is actually made up of its components: Cal (Lime) + Fiber + Tierra (soil) + Cemento (cement) = CAL FI TI CE!  It's thus a cheap, efficient and ecological consturction material that's widely used in bamboo constructions, as it protects the latter against moisture.

Our actual Courses Workshops:

Eco House

The Eco House Project was realized in 2008 with 6th grade students from the school Menino Jesus. During one year, the children regularly visited the institute, experimented with sustainable construction materials and constructed their own ecological houses, in miniature size. They worked with the so-called 'Pau-a- Pique'-Technique that combines a bamboo frame with a dough made of clay, sand, ash and water, covering the structure. The 'Casa Ecologica' was selected by the International UNESCO Commission, out of several hundred projects from all over the world, to be part of the 'Second Collection of Good Practices', released at the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development, held in 2009, in Bonn, Germany.

Second Collection of Good Practices, UNESCO: (See p.46 of



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