Sherab Lhamo

Yesterday, the ReBuilt exhibition was opened to public at the Transformation Lab in Kaja Throm, Thimphu.

The event showcased prototypes of natural materials and waste products like wood, bamboo, sawdust, hemp, and rice husk to make construction more eco-friendly.

The project will look at ways to make construction more eco-friendly by using less carbon, following the framework of Thimphu Structure Plan, said an official from the Department of Surface Transport, Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.

The Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Chandra Bahadur Gurung, said that the ministry aims to address the challenges preventing the widespread use of natural building materials and waste products.

They plan to do this by studying these materials scientifically, focusing on the materials strength and how they can be used in construction.

The project is a collaboration between the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and Bauhaus Earth, a research institute from Germany.

The research on natural building materials and waste products has been ongoing for almost a year.

The exhibition displayed prototypes of building, construction materials made from sawdust and lime, sawdust mixed with lime, glued laminated timber, bamboo wattle netting, and more.

Georg Hubmann from Bauhaus Earth said that there’s great potential in using abundant agricultural and other waste products like sawdust to create new construction materials. This approach aligns with the concept of a circular economy, where resources are reused and recycled to minimise waste.

The official said that the project aims to create a holistic perspective, using natural materials throughout the construction process. Their objective is to establish sustainable practices and standards in construction. Initially, they will concentrate on the Paro-Thimphu region, but they aim for these practices to eventually be adopted nationwide.

Later in the day, a workshop was conducted bringing together private and government architects, engineers, and other key players in the construction industry.

The Norzin Lam Mass Timber Pilot project also revealed its module building during the event.

The ReBuilt project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety, and Consumer Protection.