A school’s sports hall is created entirely from bamboo

The building boasts a zero-carbon footprint and is naturally ventilated.

August 11, 2017 |
The inside of the Panyaden International School sports hall

Photo: Alberto Cosi, Courtesy of Chiangmai Life Construction and Panyaden International School

Panyaden International School in Thailand was in need of a bigger assembly space and an indoor sports facility that would keep students from getting wet in the rainy season and keep them cool on hot summer days.

The project, designed by Chiangmai Life Construction, provides space for futsal, volleyball, basketball, and badminton as well as a stage. In addition to the standard size courts there are also game lines for three smaller mini-volleyball and badminton practice courts for younger students.

But it isn’t the space that makes the building unique, or the fact that its overall design resembles a rebel trooper’s helmet from Star Wars (the architect says the design concept originated from the lotus flower, which is a nod to the school’s Buddhist values). What makes the building unique are the materials used to create it. Or, more specifically, the material used to create it.

 

An exterior shot of the Panyaden International School sports hallPhoto courtesy of Chiangmai Life Construction.

 

The entire 8,417-sf structure was created from bamboo. Spans of 15 meters were created with bamboo trusses that were pre-built on the floor and lifted into place by crane. These 15-meter spans, with equal height, were created without any steel reinforcements. Two engineers calculated the loads, tensions, and sheer forces in order to design and build the structure according to 21st century engineering practices. The building can withstand high-speed winds and earthquakes.

The space is naturally ventilated and lit through openings between the three-layered roof. Adding to the project’s core mission of creating a green building, a zero-carbon footprint was achieved due to the bamboo absorbing more carbon than what was emitted during treatment, transport, and construction.

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